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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Sen. Schumer: “#Suicide Is A Public Health Crisis”

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SYRACUSE — On Monday #Sen.ChuckSchumer (D-NY) paid a visit to Liberty Resources on Syracuse’s northside. Schumer announced a three-pronged plan to tackle an issue crushing our communities day in and day out. “Suicide is on the dramatic increase,” said Schumer. “#Suicide among young people is on the dramatic increase. Probably every one of us has friends or family that have experienced #suicide.”

JamesDonaldson notes:

 Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students 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 #suicidalthoughts 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

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the #suicide rate has spiked by 33% in the last 20 years, reaching its highest level since World War II. In Onondaga County, 248 people took their own lives between 2013 and 2017.

The first part of Schumer’s plan is to boost federal money for localities like Liberty Resources to offer new treatments and service for those at risk. “While the number of lives lost has gone up. The federal government’s attention to this issue has basically stayed flat.”

The second part is a new push for more medicare-supported residency training spots for mental heath doctors. Local leaders in the #mentalhealth field said there is a vital need for clinicians in central New York. SUNY ESF partnered with the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness (#NAMI) Syracuse chapter Monday to host a “Let’s Talk about Mental Health” presentation. SUNY ESF’s director of counseling services Ruth Larson said she has no where to send her students locally. “I have been here for three years and have no psychiatrists to refer our students to,” said Larson. “I end up tending to refer them to a psychiatrist back in their home community.”

The third part is dedicating grant money focusing on youth suicide prevention. The CDC said in 2015, 18% high school students seriously considered committed #suicide.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Teen Activists Score #MentalHealth Days For Oregon Students

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 SARAH ZIMMERMAN,Associated Press 18 hours ago 

 Teens fight for — and win — #mentalhealthdays for Oregon students

SALEM, Oregon (AP) — Oregon will allow students to take “#mentalhealth days” just as they would sick days, expanding the reasons for excused school absences to include #mental or behavioral health under a new law that experts say is one of the first of its kind in the U.S.

But don’t call it coddling. The students behind the measure say it’s meant to change the #stigma around #mentalhealth in a state that has some of the United States’ highest #suicide rates. #Mentalhealth experts say it is one of the first state laws to explicitly instruct schools to treat #mentalhealth and physical health equally, and it comes at a time educators are increasingly considering the emotional health of students. Utah passed a similar law last year.

JamesDonaldson notes:

 Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students 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 #suicidalthoughts 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

 

Oregon’s bill, signed by Gov. Kate Brown last month, represents one of the few wins for youth activists from around the state who were unusually active at the Capitol this year. Along with expanded #mentalhealth services, they lobbied for legislation to strengthen gun control and lower the voting age, both of which failed.

Haily Hardcastle, an 18-year-old from the Portland suburb of Sherwood who helped champion the #mentalhealth bill, said she and other student leaders were partly motivated by the national youth-led movement that followed last year’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

“We were inspired by Parkland in the sense that it showed us that young people can totally change the political conversation,” she said. “Just like those movements, this bill is something completely coming from the youth.”

Hardcastle, who plans to attend the University of Oregon in the fall, said she and fellow youth leaders drafted the measure to respond to a #mentalhealthcrisis in schools and to “encourage kids to admit when they’re struggling.”

Debbie Plotnik, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Mental Health America, said implementing the idea in schools was important step in challenging the way society approaches #mentalhealthissues.

“The first step to confront this crisis is to reduce the #stigma around it,” Plotnik said. “We need to say it’s just as OK to take care for #mentalhealth reasons as it is to care for a broken bone or a physical illness.”

Suicide is Oregon’s second leading cause of death among those ages 10 to 34, according to data from the state Health Authority. Nearly 17% of eighth-graders reported seriously contemplating taking their lives within the past 12 months.

And it’s not just an Oregon problem, although the state does have a #suicide rate 40% higher than the national average. The national #suicide rate has also been on the rise and recently hit a 50-year high, climbing more than 30% since 1999, according to the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention.

Previously, schools were obliged to excuse only absences related to physical illnesses. At many schools, absences must be excused to make up missed tests or avoid detention.

Under state law, students can have up to five absences excused in a three month period. Anything more requires a written excuse to the principal.

Despite little public opposition from lawmakers, Hardcastle said she’s received pushback from some parents who say the legislation wasn’t necessary, as students can already take #mentalhealth days by lying or pretending to be sick. Other opponents have said the law will encourage students to find more excuses to miss school in a state that also suffers from one of the worst absenteeism rates in the nation. More than 1 in 6 children missed at least 10% of school days in the 2015-2016 school year, according to state data.

But those criticisms miss the point of the bill, said Hardcastle. Students are going to take the same amount of days off from school with or without the new law, but they might be less likely to lie about why they’re taking take a day off if schools formally recognize mental health in their attendance policies.

“Why should we encourage lying to our parents and teachers?” she said. “Being open to adults about our #mentalhealth promotes positive dialogue that could help kids get the help they need.”

Parents Roxanne and Jason Wilson agree, and say the law might have helped save their 14-year-old daughter, Chloe, who took her life in February 2018.

The Eugene-based couple said the funny and bubbly teen had dreams of becoming a surgeon but faced bullying after coming out as bisexual in middle school.

When things at school were particularly rough, Chloe would pretend to be sick to stay home.

“Because she lied to get her absences excused, we didn’t get to have those #mentalhealth conversations that could have saved her life,” said Roxanne, who now manages a local #suicideprevention program.

Chloe was one of five teens to die by #suicide in the Eugene area that month. Roxanne and Jason, who moved to the rural city of Dayton following their daughter’s death, worry that those against the bill underestimate the hardships today’s teens face.

“Calling kids coddled or sensitive will just further discourage them from being honest with adults about what they’re going through,” Jason Wilson said. “We need to do everything we can to open up that dialogue between parents and children when it comes to #mentalhealth.”

___

#NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline: 800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: 741-741

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Breakup May Lead To #Suicide, #MentalHealth Problem – Expert

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Love problems are the leading cause of #mentalhealth problems and suicide, a #mentalhealth expert said.

In an interview at the Philippine News Agency’s “Pros and Cons” forum, Dr. Bernard Argamosa, a psychiatrist at the Department of Health-National Center for Mental Health (DoH-NCMH), said many of their patients have psychotic breakdowns due to breakups.

“We may not have the stats but based on our experience, it leads to #depression. Breakups have psychological meanings, and, it could trigger your past experiences when you were a child and you were left behind by someone close to you,” Argamosa said.

Meanwhile, Cel Gonzales, quality control director of One Algon Place, a rehabilitation center for those with drug and alcohol addiction, stressed love is a universal emotion that is important to everyone, hence, lack of it could also lead to behavioral and #mentalhealthissues.

“Love is important to a couple, and even to a child who loves his parents and needs love from them,” Gonzales said.

Argamosa explained broken-hearted people usually “exhaust all their coping mechanisms when exposed to a stressful situation like breakups”.

“The one you love left you, your mind will use its coping mechanisms first like your family friends, hobbies and work. Sometimes, being alone works for other heartbroken people, different strokes for different people,” he said.

Citing that some people are unable to cope with breakups, Gonzales said their relatives need to check on them as they may end up committing #suicide.

“In our facility, we assist those who are broken, so they can stand again, and survive their love problems and function normally again,” she added.

JamesDonaldson notes:

 Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students 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 #suicidalthoughts 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

Gerardo Rudin Gonzales III, executive director of One Algon Place, advised parents of broken-hearted teenagers to monitor their children’s #socialmedia use as different #socialmedia platforms carry content which encourage the youth to commit #suicide.

“Also, iyong palabas sa (the program in) Netflix, 13 Reasons Why, psychiatrists say, please don’t let your children watch that show because it teaches them the step-by-step process on how to commit #suicide,” he said.

Argamosa encouraged those who “feel broken in any way” to contact DOH-NCMH’s crisis hotline 0917 899-8727 or 989-8727 if they need someone to talk to. (PNA)

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Interested in Financial Assistance, Student Loan Forgiveness and Scholarship $$$ to Colleges and Universities? – Talk To Me About College Insights

As most of you know, education has been the key to life and success every step of the way for me, and I know the same will be true with you.

If you are in need of financial assistance, scholarship money, student loan forgiveness, etc, then this is for you.

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Just tell them that James Donaldson recommended you to them, and they will take extra good care of you! I stake my reputation on it!

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Between 16% And 18% Of Preadolescents Have Ideas Of #Suicide

Between 16 and 18% of preadolescents have ideas of suicide
The Universitat Roviri Researcher, Núria Voltas. Credit: URV

JamesDonaldson notes:

 Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students 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 #suicidalthoughts 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 researchers studied a group of 720 boys and 794 girls who attended 13 schools in Reus. They were monitored during three developmental periods: 10 years old, 11 years old and 13 years old. At the beginning of the study, the students answered a series of psychological tests that were used to detect which of them presented emotional symptoms related to #depression, #anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). From their responses, two groups were created: one group at risk of emotional problems and a control group.

The disorders were diagnosed with standardised international criteria and the boys and girls were monitored to see how #suicidalideation developed throughout the research period.

The figures were quite stable. During the first period, 16% of the students stated that they had thought about #suicide, of whom 33% stated the same one year later. In both the second and the third period, ideas of #suicide were expressed by 18% of the students surveyed. The risk of #suicide was determined in a personal interview and was present in 12.2% of the children with an average age of 11 years old. Although there were no differences between the sexes, the severity of the #suicidal behaviour was greater in boys.

The researchers also observed what factors predicted #suicidalideation and they found here that there were differences between the sexes. “In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation,” says Núria Voltas, one of the researchers involved in the study. In girls, on the other hand, it is a combination of #anxiety symptoms, OCD and the family’s socioeconomic situation.

The results of this research, published in the scientific journal Archives of Suicide Studies reveal the factors that can trigger ideas of suicide in this age group. “Our results will enable us to have greater control over this particular aspect and take prevention measures in preadolescents, who are going through a period of considerable vulnerability,” she concludes.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – What Do #Parents Need to Know About Their College Child’s #MentalHealth?

Parents can and should play an active role in their college child’s mental health in order to achieve the best possible college experience.

By 

Courtesy of Poring / Shutterstock
Courtesy of Poring / Shutterstock

Welcome to our new section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of #mentalhealth among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus.) We welcome faculty, clinicians and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

College is an exciting time for students and parents, but it can also be a critical time for your child’s #mentalhealth. Here are a few suggestions on how you can help safeguard your child’s #mentalhealth during this challenging and formative time.

Understanding mental health

Learn the basics about #mentalhealth conditions. The three most important concerns are #depression and #anxiety, and suicidal ideation — all are rising among college students. Seventy-five percent of all mental illnesses develop by age 24. There are many good online resources such as NAMI’s website. Essentially, closely watch for any change in their behavior — are they withdrawing, are their reactions to stressors disproportionate to the stressful events they are experiencing, and is their emotional health adversely impacting their day-to-day functioning? Also bear in mind that substance use may exacerbate a mental health condition, and we know that exposure to alcohol and drugs may increase during these years and potential problems may develop. Encourage your child to reach out to their college counseling office for help if they are showing signs of emotional distress. Suicidal ideation and suicide have reached alarming rates and require immediate action. A few signs of suicide risk include expressions of hopelessness, talking about self-harm, and talking about unbearable pain or being a burden. Minorityfirst-generation, and international students may also be at greater risk due to particular stressors that these groups may encounter.

Talking about mental illness

Share what you’ve learn about #mentalhealth with your child. Talk about it. It can be very helpful to share your own college experiences with your child so that they feel you can relate. Emphasize to them that you’ll always be there and support them. Let them know you may worry, but you’ll worry more if they don’t talk to you. Tell them it is common for college students to experience emotional distress and that they should not to be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it if they have any concerns. There are two books you may find helpful: Campus Cure and The Stressed Years of Their Lives. Stay in touch with them as much as your child allows, especially when they are in distress. Most importantly, tell them if they ever experience thoughts of self-harm that they must contact emergency resources immediately, including their college’s counseling office. Under HIPAA,a counseling office must maintain the privacy of student treatment. Under FERPA, the counseling office may, but is not required to notify you of a serious mental health crisis or emergency. You should also urge them to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1.800.273.8255. Be firm.

On-campus resources

#JamesDonaldson notes:

 

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students 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 #suicidalthoughts 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

Know basic information before the school year start about on-campus mental health resources, including location, scheduling an appointment, drop-in service availability, after hour services, and access to peer support services. Learn if the college has wellness programs, which may offer self-care guidance and activities. Student #mentalhealth groups such as Active Minds (the leading college students’ grassroots #mentalhealth organization), the Steve Fund (the leading college students’ minority mental health organization), and The Jed Foundation (JED), the leading college mental health advisory and program development organization, may offer important support. 

Stressors  a proactive approach

Stressors may trigger a mental health condition. The earlier potential stressors are identified, the sooner coping strategies may be developed to contain them. There are many stressors. The three key stressors for many students fall into three categories: loneliness, academic, and career. It is important to know possible stressors since your child may be more willing to discuss stressors than #mentalillness due to #stigma. The Healthy Minds Network, the leading college student mental health academic research institute, is doing cutting-edge research in the area.

Resiliency

Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties such as competitive environments, failure, setbacks, and disappointment. It is a valuable strength for combating the emotional impact of stressors. It can also be bred and developed as we face these sorts of challenges. Tell your child that it may take a little while to adjust to college life as is true for many college students and that they can bounce back from initial challenges. Tell them that no matter what, you’ll always be proud of them.

Loneliness

A majority of college students feel lonely. Let your child know how common it is. Encourage them to make new friends by participating in orientation activities, activities, and clubs. Again, stay in touch with them, especially during the first semester. Encourage them to call home. Suggest to them that they participate in self-care activities such as physical exercise, good nutrition, and athletics. Intramural sports is a great way to boost mental and physical health and connect with other students.

Academic performance

Academics is a key, and perhaps the greatest, source of stress for students. The high-school-to-college transition can be difficult. It is not uncommon to experience average-to-poor performance compared to high school, competition, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, and discouragement. Encourage your child to seek tutoring and to contact their college’s accommodations and disabilities office, which may provide them with very helpful academic support, should they qualify. Help them develop academic related coping skills before starting college and throughout such as stress management, time management, and problem solving. Grades may be a strong indicator of possible academic struggle so it may be helpful for your child to share them with you — they can give you permission to access their grades under FERPA. Provide extra support, if required and possible. Finally, emphasize with them the critical importance of good sleep hygiene. Tell them these strategies will help them achieve better grades, which is the ultimate objective of many students. However, if college stresses become overwhelming it may be best to consider taking a medical leave rather than dropping out as it may be more difficult to return in the latter case. A majority of college students who drop out of college do so for mental health reasons. There are many wonderful college re-entry programs to facilitate your child’s return to college such as Fountain House’s College Re-entry Program and others like it.

Career planning

Career planning can be a significant source of stress. It may start to intensify as your child considers internship opportunities. It could be highly beneficial to speak to a career office early on to explore options and understand hiring criteria such as course work, grades, work experience. You may also want to encourage your child to volunteer in an area of interest relevant to potential career goals, which may give them firsthand experience.

College can be an incredibly stressful time, but your help can be invaluable as your child transitions into adulthood. It is a time when your child can take more responsibility and ownership of their life decisions. But you can have a critical impact on their academic, career, and personal success by being an active participant and resource.

Subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

More on Mental Health on Campus:

Katherine Ponte, Mental Health Advocate, Writer, and Entrepreneur, BA, JD, MBA (Wharton), and Founder of ForLikeMinds.com

Katherine Ponte is a mental health advocate, writer, and entrepreneur based in New York City. She has degrees in political science and law from two leading Canadian universities and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Katherine was first diagnosed with major depressive disorder and then severe bipolar I disorder with psychosis over fifteen years ago while in graduate school. She is in recovery. Katherine has taken these experiences and a history of community service and advocacy to develop ForLikeMinds – an online community aimed at increasing engagement among people living with or supporting someone with mental illness, substance use or a stressful life event, including college students and their parents. You can follow her on Facebook. She also serves on the Board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-New York City, the largest affiliate of the leading mental health non-profit organization in the US.

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