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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Former #Sonic Dedicates Life To #MentalHealthAwareness, #SuicidePrevention

https://komonews.com/news/newsradio/former-sonic-dedicates-life-to-mental-health-awareness-suicide-prevention?fbclid=IwAR3WVvgjbV31-4hxqqfLoVSit2-m_DeYZLtaQSCJzF74qCWwfGhl88oMVLY

#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

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – We Can All Do Something To Prevent #Suicide

By: Guest Opinion

mental-illness

Each September during #SuicidePreventionAwarenessMonth, I reflect on the progress Arizona has made in addressing a critical public health issue. On average, 1,400 Arizonans die by #suicide each year, a number that has wide-reaching consequences for families and our larger communities.

These deaths are preventable. I’m heartened, however, by new momentum, energy, and funding that Arizona has to address this public health issue.

In August, the Arizona #HealthCare Cost Containment System, Arizona’s Medicaid agency, received an $800,000 Substance Abuse #MentalHealth Services Administration emergency #suicideprevention grant to bring together #behavioralhealth and #domesticviolence providers in Pima County.

With this funding, #domesticviolence providers will be able to screen for #suicidalideation, and #behavioralhealthproviders will be able to screen for indications of #domesticviolence.

This coordinated approach recognizes that there is often more than one social determinant of health at play – individuals who are survivors of #domesticviolence may also be fighting #depression, substance use, and suicidal thoughts.

#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

With the Arizona Department of Education, the AHCCCS #suicideprevention team oversees the 5-year Project AWARE grant to bring #suicideprevention and #behavioralhealth resources to #schools, particularly useful this school year as public and charter #schools implement the Mitch Warnock Act. Effective this fall, that law requires all #school staff who work with #students between 6th and 12th grades to be trained in an evidence-based #suicideprevention training. The AHCCCS team has published a list of approved training courses on their website, and works with #schools to implement and track the new training requirement.

As your #children head back to school, whether online or in person, ask about partnerships with #behavioralhealthproviders. We have seen a remarkable increase in Medicaid-eligible #students receiving services on campus (more than 15,000 #students in the last school year, statewide) and hope to continue to see these partnerships grow. Serving #students where they are has been proven to reduce barriers to accessing #behavioralhealthcare.

How is your student’s school implementing the new law? Do they have a #behavioralhealthprovider available to #students? Do they have a #suicideprevention or postvention policy listed on their website? School leadership should be able to answer these questions.

#Suicideprevention cannot be accomplished by one team or one state agency. It is up to all of us to know the warning signs and what to do next. Check on your neighbor or family member who lives alone. Get rid of unnecessary prescriptions or over-the-counter medications. Store firearms under lock so they cannot be used without your permission. Get trained in #suicideprevention. And if you are worried about someone who is suicidal, never leave them alone. Call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-273-8255 and you will be transferred to a local #behavioralhealthprovider. Store this number in your phone. You’ll never know when you may be in a position to save a life.

Together, we can reduce – even end – #suicide in Arizona!

Kelli Donley Williams is the state #suicideprevention specialist at Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #Suicide PreventionWeek Highlights Link Between #COVID-19 And Alarming Increase Of People Who ‘Seriously Considered #Suicide’

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

By MURI ASSUNÇÃO

Mental health issues have increased considerably during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and young adults and racial minorities are among those disproportionately affected.
#Mentalhealthissues have increased considerably during the #coronavirus #pandemic, according to a recent report released by the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention, and young adults and racial minorities are among those disproportionately affected.

The message from #NationalSuicidePreventionAwarenessWeek is especially important this year.

#Mentalhealthissues have increased considerably during the #coronavirus #pandemic, according to a recent report released by the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention, and young adults and racial minorities are among those disproportionately affected.

“This #pandemic has created not only the fear of the #virus and so much grief and loss, surrounding us with the death and illness of so many people in the #UnitedStates and around the world, but also the #isolation that happens with quarantine,” Sarah Harte, a clinical social worker, told the Daily News. She’s also director of The Dorm, a treatment community for young adults in New York and Washington.

In a survey of 5,412 adults in late June, 40.9% reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, the #CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Aug. 14.

#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

Those conditions include symptoms of #anxiety, #depression and “increased substance use to cope with #stress or emotions related to #COVID-19.”

Nearly 11% reported having seriously considered #suicide in the 30 days before completing the survey compared with about 4% in a 2018 survey who said they’d considered #suicide in the past 12 months.

#NationalSuicidePreventionAwarenessWeek, which began Sunday, seeks to inform and engage people about prevention and the warning signs of #suicide.

“In the era of #COVID-19, as we all try to protect our #mentalhealth and cope with uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that we be there for each other and take steps to prevent #suicide,” the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention said in a statement.

The worrying #CDC data found that certain groups were shown to be even more susceptible to #suicide: 25.5% of young adults, aged 18 to 24; 30.7% of self-reported unpaid caregivers for adults; 21.7% of essential workers; as well as racial minorities —18.6% of #Hispanic respondents and 15.1% of #Black respondents.

Even before the #pandemic hit, #suicide has been a growing concern among #healthprofessionals in the U.S.

According to the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention, there were an estimated 1.4 million #suicide attempts in the U.S. in 2018, which included 48,344 deaths — or an average of 132 per day.

Some experts see the silver lining in the current crisis.

Dr. Isaiah Pickens, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist and author, told The News the #pandemic can help with the #stigma surrounding #suicide by normalizing conversations about #mentalhealth.

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Get updates on the #coronavirus #pandemic and other news as it happens with our free breaking news email alerts.

“Given that all of us have dealt with such a difficult and even, for many, traumatic, issues over the course of this past year, part of what we’ve seen is an uptick in people reaching out and seeking #mentalhealthservices,” which is something that helps with #suicideprevention, he said.

The #pandemic has created #socialdistancing, #isolation and an increase in unemployment — all contributing factors to #suicideideation.

“But also, on the flip side of it, there’s just so many people who said, ’You know, this is a lot,’ and ’it’s OK if I need to get some help,’” said Pickens.

“This moment has actually opened up a new space for us to talk about #mentalhealth,” he added.

If you or someone you know is going through a crisis, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). LGBT youth are encouraged to call TrevorLifeline at (866) 488-7386, or text ’START’ to 678-678.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #MentalHealth Myth: #Suicide Is Rare, Doesn’t Happen As Often As It Used To

#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #MentalHealth Myth: #Suicide Is Rare, Doesn’t Happen As Often As It Used To

https://standingabovethecrowd.wordpress.com/2020/10/17/jamesdonaldson-on-mentalhealth-mentalhealth-myth-suicide-is-rare-doesnt-happen-as-often-as-it-used-to/
— Read on standingabovethecrowd.wordpress.com/2020/10/17/jamesdonaldson-on-mentalhealth-mentalhealth-myth-suicide-is-rare-doesnt-happen-as-often-as-it-used-to/

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #MentalHealth Myth: #Suicide Is Rare, Doesn’t Happen As Often As It Used To

By Tracey Gruver,   

The truth about #suicide? According to the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness, #suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the fourth leading cause for ages 35-54.

Many people do not want to know just how common #suicide has become; #NAMI says the #suicide rate in the #UnitedStates has increased 31% since 2001.

If this is true, why are more people not talking about and trying to prevent #suicide? Actually, many are working to prevent this tragedy and we need to get the word out.

#SeptemberisNationalSuicidePreventionAwarenessMonth. You can find information about #suicideprevention online at sites like nami.org and at the #SuicidePreventionResourceCenter at sprc.org.

For #parents or #teachers who want information specifically related to youth #suicideprevention, a great resource is “It’s OK to Ask.” At itsok2ask.com, there is information written specifically for teenagers about #suicide including what to do if they are concerned about a friend or what to do if they, themselves, are having suicidal thoughts.

#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 #NAMI, people should take notice if a friend or loved one starts to show warning signs that could indicate a #suicide attempt is coming; these can be things like increased alcohol or drug use, aggressive behavior, withdrawal from friends and loved ones, dramatic mood swings, and impulsive or reckless behavior.

I think everyone would agree that changes in behavior like these do make you worry about a loved one. However, I think that people often do not want to believe that their loved one could even be considering #suicide.

Kristen Martin, licensed clinical social worker and executive director of the nonprofit Thrive, says it is essential for people to know that the warning signs of #suicide are not always negative behaviors.

Martin says that sometimes right before a #suicide attempt, the person will finish a project they have been putting off for a long time, they might make amends with someone with whom they have had a long-standing rift or argument, or they may even make long-term plans for the care of their #children so that they will be taken care of in case something happens.

Many times, friends and family will see someone who has been battling #depression or #anxiety suddenly seem to come out of it and be very focused on these goals.

This often seems like a positive step in the right direction, but later the family realizes that the loved one was really just making preparations before they attempted #suicide.

Obviously, it is very difficult to predict if a person would attempt #suicide. I don’t think it is fair to expect anyone to be responsible for knowing that a friend or loved one is planning to try and harm themselves.

What you can do is listen to your loved ones and pay attention to what they need. If someone expresses to you that they are feeling suicidal, you should never ignore those feelings. Do not assume that they are not serious and try never to tell someone that you don’t believe them.

The best thing you can do if you know someone who is expressing these feelings or who is exhibiting some of the warning signs is to make sure that they have the contact information for crisis lines.

You can call the #NAMI helpline at 800-950-#NAMI, or in a crisis, you can text “#NAMI” to 741741. There is also the #SuicidePreventionLifeline at 1(800) 273-TALK.

#Teens can get help by texting “SAFELIGHT” to 20121, and #veterans can get help by calling 800-273-8255 and selecting option 1.

Finally, you can reach the Mobile Crisis Team at 888-573-1006.

Once you have provided your loved one with the contact information, check back in with them often to make sure that they are seeking help. Remind them that even in the midst of a #pandemic, it is possible to get #mentalhealthtreatment.

In fact, it’s never been a better time to seek the help of a #mentalhealthprofessional, because almost every provider now has the option of telehealth available. Most offer appointments over the phone or by video chat if you would prefer to see the face of the provider.

These options remove some of the barriers to treatment such as lack of transportation or lack of childcare options. Some people are able to have a #mentalhealth appointment while they are at work by just clocking out for a break and heading outside to have the session over the phone. This is a win for all of us in that service options have never been more flexible.

As we breeze through September and head into Fall, please remember the warning signs. Watch out for your loved ones. Check in with them.

Things have been hard this year for everyone, but some of us need extra attention right now. Do what you can to point your loved ones in the right direction so that they get the help they need before it’s too late.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Raising Awareness Of #Suicide

#mentalhealthexperts explain how to recognize warning signs and support those who need help

By Gracie Blackwell, Texas A&M University College of Medicine


Lighting candles at night during the the 2018 Suicide Awareness Walk.
Texas A&M students take part in the 2018 #SuicideAwareness Walk.Texas A&M Student Affairs

#Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the #UnitedStates, and in 2018, 48,344 Americans died by #suicide. Globally, #suicide is the second-leading cause of death among those 15 to 29 years old, according to the #WorldHealthOrganization.

As part of #SuicideAwarenessWeek, Texas A&M University is promoting #suicideawarenessandprevention. Here, experts discuss the #mentalillness, #suicide warning signs, risk factors and prevention strategies.

#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

Warning Signs And Symptoms

There are many warning signs that someone is thinking about #suicide. According to the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline, if the following behaviors are new, or have increased, people around that individual need to step in:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Researching ways to kill themselves or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live, being trapped or in unbearable pain or being a burden to others
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

“If somebody’s not able to do the things they’re usually able to do — maybe you see them kind of struggling to do schoolwork they’re usually able to handle or struggling to participate in a group project they’re usually able to contribute to, or struggling with a hobby or job you usually see them at — those can be indications that something’s changed,” said Bradley Bogdanclinical social work supervisor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Texas A&M University College of Medicine.

While some people’s warning signs are very obvious and clear to others around them, this can vary from person to person, and some people keep their suicidal thoughts a secret, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Risk Factors

There is no single cause of #suicide, according to the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention. However, there are risk factors that increase a person’s chance of dying by #suicide. Often suicide occurs due to a person’s feelings of hopelessness and pain, especially when health issues, environmental factors or historical factors are involved.

These are the following risk factors for #suicide, according to the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention:

  • #Mentalhealthconditions including #depression, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, #anxiety disorders, conduct disorders, and personality traits of aggression, mood changes and poor relationships
  • Serious physical health conditions including pain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
  • Prolonged #stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment
  • Stressful life events, like rejection, divorce, #financial crisis, other life transitions or loss
  • Exposure to another person’s #suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of #suicide
  • Previous #suicideattempts
  • Family history of #suicide
  • Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma

How To Help

According to Bogdan, the biggest way to help someone who is contemplating #suicide is to be open and available.

It is important to let someone contemplating #suicide know that there is help available, whether through family and friends or support services such as therapy or psychiatry. Starting a conversation about #suicide, providing support and directing help to support services are the best ways to help someone who is contemplating #suicide.

“#Suicide is a scary thing to a lot of people and there is not necessarily a great amount of inclusion or talk about it in a lot of people’s day-to-day lives,” Bogdan said. “Being able to sit down and provide support even if somebody isn’t always able to ask for it helps a lot. Make it a regular habit of checking in with them and being able to listen to what they’re going through. Reminding them that there is that solid social contact there and somebody really cares is only going to help people.”

Many people are afraid to talk to someone about their concerns because they’re afraid that they might precipitate a #suicide, but the opposite is true. There is no evidence that asking someone if they are safe or or asking them if they are thinking about #suicide leads to an increased risk of #suicide, according to Bogdan.

“People feel very alone when they’re struggling with #depression and #anxiety, so by you just getting involved with helping them out, you’ve already lifted the burden and they’re going to feel better,” said Sheamus Kelleher, an adjunct assistant professor at the College of Medicine who teaches a course on #mentalillness. “Do not wait too long, because if somebody is really in crisis and especially if they’re suicidal, you have to intervene right away. You can say, ‘I worry about you… are you thinking of ending your life? We love you; we want you to stay around, we want you to get help.’ If somebody is really getting distressed it’s time to ask that question and then at that stage, you need to reach out and get help for them right away.”

Resources

There are many resources available at the local and national levels for #suicideprevention. For students at Texas A&M, the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers various types of counseling and support services, from consultations to individual counseling to group counseling.

In the Bryan-College Station area, there are various emergency services available. The #MentalHealthandSubstanceAbuseCrisisHotline (1-888-522-8262) provides #mentalhealth emergency support at all hours of the day to people living in the Brazos Valley. The staff provides support, information, referrals and/or crisis intervention referrals.

In addition to those resources, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences currently treats patients through an outpatient psychiatry clinic and telebehavioral care network.

For those living in the #UnitedStates outside the Brazos Valley, the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline (1-800-273-8255) is a great resource, Bogdan said. There are options for people who are hard of hearing or who speak a language other than English.

Breaking The #Stigma

Many people are too afraid to speak out about their #mentalhealth problems due to the #stigma surrounding the topic. According to the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness, the #stigma surrounding #mentalillness can cause people to feel ashamed for something entirely out of their control and keeps them from getting the help they need.

“Just every opportunity you have, talk about #mentalhealth openly and talk about the signs,” Kelleher said. “If you see somebody struggling, talk to them. Don’t just leave them alone and walk away. Instead, be an advocate for those who are struggling.”

The following are additional ways to deal with the #stigma surrounding #mentalillness according to the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness:

  • Educate yourself and others
  • Be conscious of language
  • Encourage equality between physical and #mentalillness
  • Show compassion for those with #mentalillness
  • Choose empowerment over shame
  • Be honest about treatment
  • Let the media know when they’re being stigmatizing
  • Don’t harbor self-#stigma
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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #SuicidePreventionMonth Brings #MentalHealth To Forefront

Abbeville Mayor Santana Delano Freeman presented a proclamation Sept. 8 to counselor Krissi Raines recognizing #SeptemberasSuicideAwarenessandPreventionMonth.

Krissi Raines, a counselor who focuses on #mentalhealth and #suicideprevention, said she led this #mentalhealth first aid class in Honea Path recently.

#Suicideprevention is a matter close to Krissi Raine’s heart, so she’s passionate about helping raise awareness about #mentalhealthservices and the signs of crisis during September, which is #SuicidePreventionAwarenessmonth.

“I had a friend who took her life four years ago, and I’ve seen the need for people who want counseling, but they don’t always have financial assistance,” Raines said.

As program director for a federal grant at Westview Behavioral Health Services in Newberry, Raines works across nine counties organizing community events and training programs to teach people the signs of declining #mentalhealth and impending crisis. She started the Carolina Project in May 2019 as an initiative to provide #mentalhealth first aid kits and works as a counselor through her Abbeville-based company, Bow and Arrow Coaching.

“The way we help people when they’re suicidal is not when they’re suicidal, it’s way before the crisis occurs,” she said.

#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

During #suicidepreventionawarenessmonth, Raines said she’s designed and is selling a T-shirt to raise money for the Caroline Project and to fund a variety of educational resources. Through a grant, she said she teaches a #mentalhealth first aid class that goes over the signs and symptoms of a person experiencing crisis and how to help when someone is having suicidal thoughts.

A sudden change in behavior, such as an increase in alcohol or drug use, or a person isolating themselves, giving their belongings away or being agitated easily can all be signs that something is amiss. Often the reaction to these behaviors is to step back and give the person space or avoid interacting with them, but Raines said this might be when that person needs intervention most.

“One of the things I’ve learned is when you see a lot of suicides in a community, it’s often a reflection of a sickness in the community and not sickness of the individual,” she said.

At last week’s Abbeville City Council meeting, Mayor Santana Delano Freeman presented Raines a proclamation recognizing #SeptemberasSuicideAwarenessandPreventionMonth.

“#Suicide is real, and I think that it does not get the coverage or respect that it deserves,” Freeman said.

Too often, he said signs of #mentalhealth struggles are dismissed as personal problems or there’s a hesitancy to talk openly about them. When people are dismissive of concerning behavior they see in others, they could be leaving that person to struggle alone.

Six people have lost their lives to #suicide in Abbeville this year, Freeman said, and he wants people to carefully listen to one another and care about these warning signs.

“It makes you wonder what was going on in that person’s life that they thought they needed to do that,” he said. “It makes you think about the people they’ve left behind, and the questions they’ll keep having after that.”

Raines said she wants to work to reduce the #stigma around talking about #mentalhealth and make it a community-wide discussion.

People are less likely to overlook #mentalhealth problems in their family and friends if they’re better informed and more aware of them.

For people struggling with #mentalhealth, she said a big step in improving it is developing healthy coping skills. The easy route for dealing with #stress and #anxiety often makes the problem worse — turning to drinking, using drugs, focusing only on work or falling back on other vices doesn’t provide real relief.

Instead, she advocates getting outside and getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Prayer, meditation or other practices to help clear the mind are also tools to help cope with negative emotions.

“One of the things I realized about myself is that I work a lot,” Raines said. “One of the goals I set for myself is to make sure I have three times a week where I’m meeting up with friends, even if it’s virtually.”

Making plans and thinking actively about life helps keep people from feeling trapped and gives them a sense of control, she said.

While she teaches classes to private groups and is planning classes with local law enforcement agencies, she said there are other local resources people can tap into if they need help. The Beckman Center for #MentalHealthServices can put people on the right path, and she cited Synergy Counseling and even Cornerstone for people struggling with substance abuse.

“Burying our head in the sand and pretending it’s going to go away, that’s something we’ve done for years,” she said, “and if we continue to do it, we’re only going to see it hit closer and closer to home.”

For information on Westview, the Caroline Project or the classes Raines teaches, email kraines@westview behavioral.org.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Could #COVID-19 #Pandemic Increase #Physician Burnout, #Suicide?

— “This entire culture has to change,” said Jennifer Feist, sister of #LornaBreen, MD, who died by #suicide

by Shannon Firth,

A photo of Lorna Breen, MD

On September 17, MedPage Today, recognizes #NationalPhysicianSuicideAwarenessDay.

If you or someone you know is considering #suicide, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionHotline at 1-800-273-8255.

#Physicians have one of the highest rates of #suicide among all other professions. Approximately 65% of emergency #physicians experience burnout during their careers and 74% of medical residents have met the criteria for burnout.

Research also suggests that about 6,000 emergency physicians thought about taking their own lives in 2018, with nearly 400 attempting #suicide.

The #COVID-19 #pandemic has undoubtedly put more #stress on #physicians, #nurses, and other #healthcareworkers, and is likely to exacerbate these problems, noted #physicians and advocates who participated in a livestream discussion focused on clinician burnout, hosted by U.S. News and World Report, on Tuesday.

Clinicians, advocates, as well as many hospital and health system leaders are pressing for change.

“On April 9, my sister called me because she couldn’t get out of her chair,” said Jennifer Feist, JD, a lawyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, whose sister, Lorna Breen, MD, the medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, died by #suicide on April 26. Feist spoke out about her sister’s death and the need to address #mentalhealth #stigma.

Breen had had her first “#COVID-19 shift” on March 14, and saw right away how unprepared hospitals were for the pandemic, Feist said.

Over a period of roughly 3 weeks, Breen treated patients with #COVID-19, became ill with the #virus, recovered, and began working again. Once she’d been fever-free for 3 days, Breen called the hospital and said she was ready to go back to work, Feist recalled.

Breen and her colleagues worked hard and faced huge stressors from limited personal protective equipment to even a shortage of beds, Feist remembered. “She told me patients were dying in the waiting rooms and hallways.”

Often Breen and her colleagues would continue working for 18 hours at a time, “to try to help as many people as they could,” Feist said.

But, she said of her sister, “the work didn’t stop and it didn’t slow down, and she kept going back, day after day, for her 12-hour shifts, until she could literally no longer stand.”

Feist brought her sister back from New York City to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she was eventually hospitalized at the University of Virginia.

Breen had no prior history of “known or suspected” #mentalhealthissues, and Feist said she also believes that the #virus may have impacted her sister’s brain. (There have been multiple studies about the neurological impacts of #COVID-19.)

Whatever the cause of the mental problems, Feist said Breen feared asking for help.

She worried about losing her medical license or being ostracized by her colleagues. Breen, who co-authored a study in 2019 on clinician burnout in emergency departments, was aware of the phenomenon but did not want her own colleagues to know she was suffering from burnout, Feist said.

Corey Feist, MD, Jennifer’s husband, who also spoke during the webcast, noted that more than one #physician dies from #suicide each day.

He said he knows his sister-in law was one of many clinicians suffering from these challenges and worries that others will continue to “suffer in silence” and not get the help they need, because of professional #stigma and fearing judgment from their family and friends.

Jennifer Feist said that what she learned from her sister’s death is that #stigma is “learned” in medical school, “reinforced” in residency, and “solidified” through the types of questions that physicians are asked in licensure and credentialing forms.

“We believe this entire culture needs to change,” she said.

#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

“Our expectation that the #healthcareproviders be superhuman with no needs, no fears, no family, and no need for rest has to change as well. These are humans before heroes,” Feist said.

Victor Dzau, MD, president of the National Academy of Medicine, who also participated in the webcast, echoed these feelings.

Dzau recently co-authored an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine that highlighted key steps for what he calls preventing a “parallel #pandemic.”

In the editorial, Dzau and two colleagues called for establishing anonymous reporting systems at the facility level to ensure clinicians’ “psychological safety” by enabling them to reach out with concerns for themselves or others without fear of punishment, maintaining and growing well-being programs, and integrating chief wellness officers or leaders or clinician well-being programs into the “#COVID-19 command center” or other decision-making bodies for as long as the #pandemic lasts.

Dzau also suggested earmarking federal funds to create a “national epidemiologic tracking program” that would assess clinician well-being and report the results of interventions meant to address the problem.

He also called for allocating funding to help treat clinicians who suffer mentally or physically as a result of their work during the #COVID-19 #pandemic.

He likened such a fund to the compensation fund created to support victims and emergency responders after 9/11.

In July, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced the “#Dr.LornaBreen Health Care Provider Protection Act,” which would establish funds to help educate students, residents, or other healthcare providers in “evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent #suicide, burnout, #mentalhealthconditions, and substance use disorders.”

The bill would also include grants for peer support programs, mental and behavioral health treatment, evidence-based awareness campaigns, and a comprehensive study of healthcare professionals mental and behavioral health, and burnout, including the impact of #COVID-19 on all aspects of their health.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – With Addiction And #Suicide On The Rise, We Must Increase Access To #MentalHealthCare

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Rachel Roberts

The rise of #COVID-19 has understandably refocused our attention on health care access and inequities. One component that hasn’t gotten as much attention, but should, is access to #mentalhealthcare. We’re in a moment where more of us than ever before could benefit from having an established relationship with a qualified provider.

Although we have seen sustained success in the fields of #mentalhealthcare, counseling and addiction services in recent decades — from gains in medicine to a more aware and understanding public — the statistics are clear that this is not enough.

Indeed, two of the main drivers behind reports showing life expectancy is declining in the #UnitedStates are the rising rates of drug addiction and #suicide. The public has a good understanding of the importance of addressing the former, but comparatively less attention is given to how to spot and then stop someone from taking his or her life.

#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

Related: Inequity in #mentalhealthcare is yet another challenge facing the minority community

To understand suicide’s sizable scope, consider that its number here in the #UnitedStates is four times higher than those murdered and a third larger than those killed in traffic accidents. #Suicide rates are highest among adults between 45 and 64, and those with substance abuse disorders are six times more likely to commit #suicide than those without, according to #MentalHealthAmerica. Worldwide, there are 800,000 suicides a year, or an average of one every 40 seconds.

I learned from an early age how much of a difference it makes when someone in crisis gets the care they need. My dad worked as an addiction specialist and had his office on the ground floor of our home. There were many times that I saw him open the door for clients who were struggling to survive, and there is no telling how many lives he and his friends in the field saved.Get the #Coronavirus Watch newsletter in your inbox.

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I will never forget the example he set, and it is one of the reasons why I proudly serve as a board member for #MentalHealth America of Kentucky and why improving access to #mentalhealth and addiction services across Kentucky is so important to me as a state legislator.

To further that goal, I am sponsoring legislation that would make what I think is a long-overdue change. I chose to announce it Sept. 10 to coincide with #WorldSuicidePreventionDay and #SuicidePreventionAwarenessMonth for our country.

Kentucky Rep. Rachel Roberts, a Democrat, represents District 67.

In short, my bill calls for comprehensive health insurance plans to include an annual preventative #mentalhealth checkup.

Just as we understand the importance of monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol and regularly visiting the dentist and eye doctor, we should check on our #mentalhealth in the same way.

If we want to prioritize #mentalhealth and well-being for all Kentuckians, we’re going to have to do more than we have done. There may be no single answer to get us to that destination, but my bill undoubtedly would move us in the right direction.

If you or someone you know is at risk of committing #suicide, please do not hesitate to act. The #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline is available 24 hours a day and can be reached at 800-273-8255. If it is an immediate emergency, please call 911.

Rachel Roberts, a Democrat, is a Kentucky representative for District 67.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Coping with #Coronavirus #Anxiety: Five Practical Tips

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

By Dr. Joe Hibblen,

#SeptemberisNationalSuicidePreventionAwarenessMonth, and a good time check in with yourself and loved ones. So many of us are struggling to keep our #mentalhealth in check right now. It’s normal to feel anxious about the impacts of #COVID-19. Preventing our worries from consuming us can reduce #stress and uncertainty—and even more severe behavioral health issues like #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

Join Barton Health in raising awareness of #suicideprevention during this important time: know the signs, find the words, and reach out to others. You can get resources and learn more at BartonHealth.org/SuicidePreventionMonth. I encourage you to promote your own well-being during these challenging times; here are five tips to help reduce #anxiety that can be brought on by the #pandemic:

Tip 1: Follow #CDC Guidelines
If you’re nervous about contracting the #virus, put your mind more at ease by following prevention tips from the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention (CDC). Information, guidelines, and local updates are available at CDC.gov and BartonHealth.org/Coronavirus.

Tip 2: Engage Your Mind, and Your Friends
Most of us are spending more time isolated and at home. You can choose to release yourself from being consumed by #anxiety-fueled thoughts and getting caught up in a cycle of #stress. Prize this time for renewal if you can. Some ideas include engaging friends and family in new ways; such as virtual events and socially distanced outdoor get-togethers. Flexing your brain supports #mentalhealth, and this is a great time to read new books and explore games, puzzles, and apps. Experimenting with new recipes is also beneficial, and I recommend trying to create a meal each week with ingredients that nourish mental function, like seafood and vegetables.

Tip 3: Go Back to Basics
Mental and behavioral health is rightfully getting a lot of attention these days. Restoring your physical health is critical to mental well-being and protects your body. Use your extra free time to focus consistently following a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, exercising 30 minutes or more daily. Take this month to create healthy habits and make time for routines such as taking walks around your neighborhood, enjoying a favorite hike or trail, bicycling, or trying a free workout video online.

Tip 4: Monitor Your #Stress Signals
Are you eating more or less than usual? Feeling overly tired? Getting stomach aches? These may be clues that your #stress levels are skyrocketing. Other warning signs include struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, drinking alcohol or using drugs more than usual, feeling angry, and having difficulty concentrating. If you identify with one or more of these symptoms, it’s probably time for a change.

Tip 5: Ask for Help
Don’t suffer in silence. Everyone needs a little help sometimes. If #stress is disrupting your life, reach out for help. That might mean calling a family member for emotional support or contacting your healthcare provider. In addition to local #mentalhealthservices, the Disaster Distress Hotline provides 24/7 crisis counseling by calling 800.985.5990, or texting TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained counselor.

If you are contemplating hurting yourself or others, dial 911. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, and they often indicate more serious #mentalhealthissues. Talking about #suicide has been shown to reduce thoughts of hopelessness, so don’t hesitate to ask for help. Or, if you know someone who might be struggling, reach out to that person. Safe, accessible care is available.

Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Joe Hibbeln recently joined the team of mental and behavioral health providers practicing at Barton Health in South Lake Tahoe, CA, and Stateline, NV. He is presenting at Barton’s free community Wellness Webinar on September 17, 2020 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. To learn more and register, visit BartonHealth.org/Lectures.

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