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James Donaldson on Mental Health – Understanding Suicide Among Men: Why More Men Take Their Own Lives

Men and Suicide (2)

James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle 

In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of men who elect to end their own lives prematurely through suicide. Over 41,000 people die by suicide each year in the U.S. and suicide is the seventh leading cause of death for all U.S. men, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. But there is hope.

Here are some important things to understand about suicide among men and what you can do if you are a loved one are having hopeless feelings or having thoughts about suicide.

Statistics

Young men and older men are particularly vulnerable groups. The suicide rate peaks in men between the ages of 20 to 24, which, if isolated from the general statistics on suicide, places suicide as the third-ranking cause of death. Older people suffer from the loss of loved ones and friends and can feel isolated, ignored, valueless, or overly dependent on others.

Risk Factors

Not every attempt at suicide results in completion, although unsuccessful first attempts are often followed by successful second attempts. The most common risk factors are:

  • Using drugs and/or alcohol to help cope with emotions, relationships, the pressure of work or other issues
  • Social isolation or living alone
  • Not being able to form or sustain meaningful relationships
  • Divorce or relationship breakdowns
  • A history of physical and sexual abuse
  • Imprisonment
  • Being bullied at school, college or work
  • Unemployment
  • Loss of a loved one through trauma or disease
  • Mental illness, particularly where this is related to depression and painful or debilitating illnesses or conditions

In older men, suicide is most strongly associated with depression, physical pain and illness, living alone, and feelings of hopelessness and guilt.

Preventing Suicide

Not all suicide attempts succeed and many people who set out with the clear intention of ending their own lives find that with good emotional and practical support they are able to adjust their circumstances to live a complete and fruitful life. The warning signs listed above do not inevitably lead to suicide attempts.

Getting Help

Getting help for people expressing suicidal intent or showing the warning signs is incredibly important. Help is available from a number of different sources, including family doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, voluntary organizations, community mental health centers, local hospitals or social agencies.

If you believe someone is in imminent danger, call 911 and do not leave them alone. And if you are struggling personally, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free and confidential service available to all people 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-TALK.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – Beyond the Stigma: Experts Offer Ways to Spot Suicide Danger Signs

September Nation Suicide Prevention Month

James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

Warning signs and how to help

WARNING SIGNS:

• Feeling like a burden
• Being isolated
• Increased anxiety
• Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Increased substance use
• Looking for a way to access lethal means
• Increased anger or rage
• Extreme mood swings
• Expressing hopelessness
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Talking or posting about wanting to die
• Making plans for suicide

HELPING SOMEONE AT RISK:

• Ask the question: “Are you thinking about suicide?”
• Keep them safe.
• Be there (by phone or in person).
• Help them connect with support (call 1-800-273-8255).
• Follow up.

OTHER RESOURCES:

• If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
• Connorsclimb.org
• bethe1to.com
• theconnectprogram.org
• suicidepreventionlifeline.org

— Source: CDC.gov

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – 21 Reasons to Keep Living When You Feel Suicidal (#11 of #21)

Men and Suicide (2)

James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

I remember when I was really struggling and in the depths of my despair, where there was only darkness and no hope, the only reason I convinced myself to stick around was because “I wanted to tell my story” (and not have everyone else out there trying to tell my story for me).

Also, with my personal experience  I felt that by sharing my story, I can help countless numbers of others who are going through a similar thing or know someone who is going through something similar.

In celebration of September being National Suicide Prevention Month, I want to share with you a recent report I came across to, in which 21 “once suicidal”  individuals, gave reasons to keep on living. I’ll share one with you a day throughout the rest of the month.

 

 11. I stay because that’s the natural course I’d rather follow. When I feel differently, I get help from the people who know the struggle. — MSB

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – 21 Reasons to Keep Living When You Feel Suicidal (#10 of #21)

September Nation Suicide Prevention MonthJames Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

I remember when I was really struggling and in the depths of my despair, where there was only darkness and no hope, the only reason I convinced myself to stick around was because “I wanted to tell my story” (and not have everyone else out there trying to tell my story for me).

Also, with my personal experience  I felt that by sharing my story, I can help countless numbers of others who are going through a similar thing, or know someone who is going through something similar.

In celebration of September being National Suicide Prevention Month, I want to share with you a recent report I came across to, in which 21 “once suicidal”  individuals, gave reasons to keep on living. I’ll share one with you a day throughout the rest of the month.

 

  1. I stay because if I leave, what is my story going to tell? I want to be stronger than that. I want to be more vulnerable with the precious friends and family around me. I want those people that are feeling the way I have felt, to know that things can get better. To know it’s OK to ask for help even if it seems stupid. To realize that maybe one day you’ll find what you are looking for, but even if you don’t, things will be OK. You can take a few wrong turns and find out that life still turns out OK. I want to have a story. Not one cut short by frustration. — Cayla

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – 21 Reasons to Keep Living When You Feel Suicidal (#9 of #21)

September Nation Suicide Prevention MonthJames Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

I remember when I was really struggling and in the depths of my despair, where there was only darkness and no hope, the only reason I convinced myself to stick around was because “I wanted to tell my story” (and not have everyone else out there trying to tell my story for me).

Also, with my personal experience  I felt that by sharing my story, I can help countless numbers of others who are going through a similar thing, or know someone who is going through something similar.

In celebration of September being National Suicide Prevention Month, I want to share with you a recent report I came across to, in which 21 “once suicidal”  individuals, gave reasons to keep on living. I’ll share one with you a day throughout the rest of the month.

 

  1. I stay because my students deserve an adult who always puts them first and fights for their well-being. — Marie

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – Suicide Coalition Launches Mental Health Campaign for Men

Men and Suicide

James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

The Lewis and Clark Suicide Prevention Coalition, spearheaded by Lewis and Clark Public Health, launched a new campaign this week called Man Therapy, which aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health for working-aged men.

Man Therapy uses a humorous multi-media approach to help cut through the stigma surrounding mental health issues like depression, divorce, and suicidal thoughts.

Project Lead and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Jess Hegstrom said the site helps give men and the people who care about them a place to go to learn more about mental health.

“When you go the website, you meet Dr. Rich Mahogany, a character created to help visitors feel at ease,” said Hegstrom. “Dr. Mahogany is a man’s man who is dedicated to cutting through the denial with a fresh approach using his odd sense of humor, straightforward approach, and practical, useful advice for men. His goal is to debunk the age-old stigma that says mental health disorders are an unmanly sign of weakness.”

Hegstrom added the campaign is great at helping men and those they love to broach the subject of suicide.

“We know that if we talk to someone that is feeling suicidal that it’s cathartic, it gives them the opportunity to get that off their chest, to feel like their feelings are validated and to move on to help,” said Hegstrom.

Montana leads the nation is suicides and  Lewis and Clark Public Health said the county is no exception.

In 2017, there were 19 suicides in the Lewis and Clark County with 15 of them being men.

Drenda Niemann, Health Officer of Lewis and Clark Public Health, said Lewis and Clark County also saw a 58.3 percent increase in suicides over 2016, which should be very concerning.

“15 percent of high school students reported that they attempted suicide last year,” said Niemann. “That is a scary statistic for our partners throughout the county.”

The Lewis and Clark Suicide Prevention Coalition is actively working to screen children in school for mental health.

“If we can make sure all people within our community are being screened in some way we’ll catch individuals more quickly that are in need of some support and get them routed to professional help as early as possible,” said Niemann.

The Suicide Prevention Coalition will hold a kick-off party for Man Therapy on September 28 from 5-8 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Brewery.

The event is free and open to the public.

If you or a loved one is currently experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to local law enforcement or call the suicide lifeline.

National Suicide Lifeline:
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

National Suicide Lifeline TTY:
1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)

Text Telephone Device or Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD)

National LGBT Youth Suicide Lifeline:
1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386)
http://www.thetrevorproject.org

National Military Veterans Suicide Lifeline:
1-800-273-TALK *Press 1 (1-800-273-8255 *Press 1)
http://www.veteranscrisisline.net

-Reporting by John Riley

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – 21 Reasons to Keep Living When You Feel Suicidal (#8 of #21)

September Nation Suicide Prevention Month

James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

I remember when I was really struggling and in the depths of my despair, where there was only darkness and no hope, the only reason I convinced myself to stick around was because “I wanted to tell my story” (and not have everyone else out there trying to tell my story for me).

Also, with my personal experience  I felt that by sharing my story, I can help countless numbers of others who are going through a similar thing, or know someone who is going through something similar.

In celebration of September being National Suicide Prevention Month, I want to share with you a recent report I came across to, in which 21 “once suicidal”  individuals, gave reasons to keep on living. I’ll share one with you a day throughout the rest of the month.

 

  1. I stayed for myself and for my kids who accepted me as their mom with all my flaws and my talent! — Nancy Nettles

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline