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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #DanielLeeMartin, Country Singer Accused of #Child Sex Abuse, Dies at 54

Rosemary Rossi

Daniel Lee Martin, Country Singer Accused of Child Sex Abuse, Dies at 54
Daniel Lee Martin, Country Singer Accused of Child Sex Abuse, Dies at 54

#DanielLeeMartin, country singer and host of “Brotherhood Outdoors,” was found dead in his Pasco County, Florida, home Friday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 54.

Pasco deputies discovered his body when they arrived at Martin’s home to serve him with multiple warrants for his arrest that included three counts of sexual exploitation on a minor, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of committing an aggravated sexual battery and one count of solicitation of a minor to commit rape of a #child.

Martin was scheduled for a court hearing Friday morning but when he failed to appear, authorities were sent to his home to pick him up.

#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 Video: Daniel Lee Martin in 2008’s ‘Total Outdoorsman Challenge’

Total Outdoorsman Challenge 2008 Ep2 Part 1: Riffle Challenge Begins

Field and Stream Sr. Editor Colin Kearns gives the play-by-play at the gun range as the competitors take shot. #Countrysinger, #DanielLeeMartin just might be the one to beat? For more information visit http://toc.fieldandstream.com/

Also Read: Caroline Flack, Former ‘Love Island’ Host, Dies at 40

“The PSO SWAT team was called in to assist, as Martin previously made threats of harm against himself and others,” a Sheriff’s statement reads. “When deputies made entry to the residence, they discovered Martin deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Martin was indicted in 2018 of child sex crimes in Williamson County, Tennessee, having been accused of acts against three victims under the age of 13 between May 2014 and January 2018. He was arrested again last month in Florida, accused of exposing himself to a young girl, showing her pornography and performing a lewd act in her presence, according to court documents.

Martin was a former baseball player and pro golfer who left a successful career as an advertising executive in 1997 to pursue his dream of becoming a #countrymusic recording artist, according to AllMusic.com. At various times he opened for #WillieNelson, #CharlieDaniels and #VinceGill.

He released albums “All That I Am” in 2003 and “On My Way to You” in 2007, and also co-hosted a hunting show “Brotherhood Outdoors” on The Sportsman Channel.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #Suicide Is Growing #Health Crisis For #AfricanAmerican Youth

She started having suicidal thoughts at 11 or 12. She didn’t know the words to name it. She had no idea what it was, but she consistently had these urges to end her life.

“I just wanted to be dead,” she says.

One night when she was 24, and already long diagnosed with clinical #depression, she succumbed to the feelings.

“I couldn’t suppress these thoughts anymore,” she recalls. “I had thought about ending my life for eight straight months.

“I texted a friend and said, ‘It would be better if I wasn’t here.’ That friend did not know that I had already taken substances in the hope that I would go to sleep and not wake up. And while I was waiting to die, the police showed up.”

T-Kea Blackman, now 29, survived that attempt and dedicated her life to helping others navigate the darkness of #depression and #mentalhealth crises.

#Suicide, long thought of something that affected other racial and ethnic groups, is fast becoming an epidemic in #black communities, particularly among school-age #children.

A recent study in the Journal of Community Health showed that #suicide rates among #black #girls ages 13-19 nearly doubled from 2001 to 2017. For #black #boys in the same age group, over the same period, rates rose 60 percent.

Additionally, for children ages 5 to 12, #black #males are committing #suicide at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group, said Dr. Michael Lindsey, the executive director of New York University’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research.

“If #suicide was a #black phenomenon and all of a sudden there was an uptick in white kids committing #suicide, there would be a national outcry,” Lindsey said on a panel, “Mental Health: A Hidden Crisis in Schools?” at this year’s Education Writers Association national conference.

It’s not just data points that are sounding an alarm.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, began seeing more and more personal stories of youth #suicide in her Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“I said to my staff, ‘We gotta do something about this’,” Watson Coleman said. “I don’t know to what extent we have control over anything, but the least we should be doing is raising the concern so that this issue could be addressed.”

Watson Coleman approached CBC Chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and together they created the Emergency Taskforce on #Black #Youth #Suicide and #MentalHealth.

Launched at the end of April, the task force has 15 representatives, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.. There is also a working group, led by Lindsey, that includes clinicians, clergy, researchers and social justice practitioners. Also enlisted was actress Taraji P. Henson, a #mentalhealthadvocate, who on numerous occasions has shared her own struggles with #mentalhealth.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.Office of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman

#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 more we get into this,” Watson Coleman said, “the more frightening the situation becomes to me, the more we recognize that #suicide in general is a problem across communities, but it has a particular impact in the #black and #LGBTQ communities.”

The task force and working group are scheduled to present their findings in December. But Coleman says that so far, all the evidence for the spike in suicides points to multiple factors.

“The lack of access to #mentalhealthcare,” she says. “Teachers who don’t know what to look for, or communities that don’t have the tools to deal with the issue.”

“Bullying has been identified,” she said, “and discrimination and harassment of the #LGBTQ community have been raised as having an impact on how our young people process their life experiences.”

None of this comes as a surprise to Blackman, whose company, Fireflies Unite, addresses #mentalhealthissues that she notes are born out of childhood trauma. Her book, “Saved & Depressed: A Suicide Survivor’s Journey of Mental Health, Healing and Faith,” documents her struggle.

“My (suicidal) thoughts go back to my father being incarcerated for most of my life and my mother being verbally and physically abused,” Blackman said.

There were also cultural and community pressures that for years kept her fearful that she would be locked up or sent to “the crazy house.”

“I was told that I would have to go to therapy, but that therapy was for rich, white crazy people,” Blackman said. “I don’t fit the rich, white demographic.”

The response from the church, the foundational institution in most black communities, was troubling.

“I was told to speak in tongues for 20 minutes a day and that my suicidal feelings would go away, or my #depression would go away,” Blackman said “I was told not to take my medication because that would make it worse or to just pray harder.”

Watson Coleman expressed the same concerns.

“You were always told, ‘You got Jesus on your side and you don’t need anything else, he will work it out for you,’” she remembers. “But #mentalhealth is an illness of the mind, and if you had an illness in your leg, like I did, and needed a new knee you go to the orthopedist.”

Blackman works to direct people with #mentalillness to the resources they need. She thinks one of the solutions is that all schools need to train their staff on mental health first aid, which is an eight-hour course where individuals can learn to better identify the signs of some #mentalhealth conditions, like #depression and bi-polar and #anxiety disorders.

“There are many signs if someone is having a #mentalhealthcrisis,” she says, “and the major ones for children is if they begin to withdraw from regular activities, or if their grades begin to suffer. Another thing, if they start giving away possessions. Also, please monitor their #socialmedia, because sometimes it’s there that you will see what they’re going through.”

But the most important piece of advice, she noted, is not to dismiss what your child is saying and to listen to them, judgment free.

“Parents too often dismiss what their child is saying about how they are feeling,” Blackman said. “They say, ‘Oh, you have a roof over your head and clothes on your back. … You don’t have any real responsibilities.”

“We still pass down generation trauma,” Blackman said. “#Depression is a disease, just like diabetes.”

Resources: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Written by: Nick Charles

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #Doctors and #Suicide

The rate among students, residents and physicians is significantly higher than average—but so-called “wellness initiatives” can help

Doctors and Suicide
Credit: Getty Images

“First, do no harm,” is what medical students in the U.S. declare when they take the Hippocratic oath at the white-coat ceremony symbolizing their entry into the medical profession. It refers to the patients they will be taking care of. But perhaps it should also refer to themselves.

As a psychologist embedded in the department of pediatrics at a major medical center, I have worked closely with pediatric residents since 1995. In addition to meeting with first-year residents during the first week of orientation, I facilitate a monthly support group where residents have protected time to share concerns in a nonthreatening confidential environment.

These monthly groups have spurred many positive changes, including trying to ensure that rotations with the most demanding schedules are now staggered with rotations that have less demanding schedules.

#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

Yet, many #healthcareprofessionals don’t often discuss a major occupational hazard in medical training: the high #suicide rate among medical students, residents and physicians.

The rates of death by #suicide in the general public in the United States are on the increase. The #NationalInstituteofMentalHealth reported in 2017 that #suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for #males and the 14th for #females. It was the second leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 34, a common age bracket for medical students and residents.

When compared to the general population, however, the rates of death by #suicide are much higher in physicians, and especially physicians who are #women. In the U.S., an estimated 300 to 400 medical students, residents and practicing physicians die by suicide annually. Physician deaths not only impact the families and friends of the doctors who end their lives, but impact thousands of patients, nurses, support staff and others. 

In January of this year, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education sent out an e-communication to members wishing everyone a “joyous, happy and healthy New Year.” The note also included a reminder that the third quarter of the academic year, beginning in January, is the second highest period of risk for resident and fellow #suicide.

For 2020, the third quarter for the academic year begins shortly. Recognizing that physicians are at increased risk for burnout and #depression, the council introduced new standards and in their updated Common Program Requirements defined “well-being” of physicians to include that they “retain the joy in medicine while managing their own real-life stresses.”

The ACGME guide states: “Residents and faculty members are at risk for burnout and #depression.  Programs, in partnership with their Sponsoring Institutions, have the same responsibility to address well-being as other aspects of resident competence.” 

Historically, there have been many mixed messages in residency training, noting that it is insufficient to provide a wellness curriculum without including, as I wrote about the problem in 1992 “the larger working environment …involving the hospital and/or training programs, and the constantly changing health care system.”

Medical schools, residency training programs and hospitals throughout the country are implementing “wellness initiatives” of varying degrees. And many medically affiliated organizations have programs dedicated to addressing wellness, such as the American Medical Association’s Steps Forward: Preventing Physician Burnout; the Mayo Clinic’s Program on Physician Well-Being; Stanford’s WellMD; and the Pediatric Resident Burnout-Resilience Study Consortium

Indeed, many of the concerns and challenges of residency—debt, moving to a new location, time management, impostor syndrome—have not changed over the past two decades. However, many concerns have intensified, such as the demands of electronic record keeping, increased burden of non-MD chores such as insurance pre-authorizations, and the intrusion of 24/7 access.

The American Academy of Pediatrics emphasizes the need to address the social-emotional lives of physicians, as well as need to help them sustain work-life balance and avoid burnout. In 2015, six institutions founded the 2016–2019 Pediatric Resident Burnout-Resilience Study Consortium.

The #WorldHealthOrganization defines burnout as an “occupational phenomenon.” According to the WHO, burnout is a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” and refers specifically to the occupational or workplace context and not to experiences in other [personal] areas of life.”

Some leading institutions are addressing and recognizing the need to address the issues of burnout and work/life balance at the institutional level. In 2017, moving from the Mayo Clinic to Stanford Medicine, physician Tait Shanafelt became the first chief wellness officer at a U.S. academic medical center. At my own institution, in December 2018, physician Bryant Adibe moved to Rush University Medical Center as its first chief wellness officer. 

To reduce rates of burnout at Rush University Children’s Hospital, a four-week wellness rotation was launched in 2017 for the second year of training. Many were skeptical about this four-week rotation, yet the most salient component of this rotation provides residents with the time to schedule appointments with their own health care providers, in addition to covering their peers, so that they too may schedule health care appointments. Residents are also encouraged to eat healthy meals, exercise, check in with the staff psychologist, catch up on sleep and socialize with friends and family. 

Prior to the launch of the four-week wellness rotation in 2017, the burnout rate reported by Rush’s second-year pediatric and internal medicine/pediatric, or med/peds, residents was 80 percent. In 2018, residents reported rates of burnout fell from 80 percent to 30 percent, and remained there in 2019.

To be sure, a four-week wellness rotation is not the answer to the epidemic of physician burnout, #depression and #suicide. However, it is a start.

Burnout is a symptom; it is not the problem. Medical students and physicians need time to engage in self-care activities and seek #mentalhealth assistance without jeopardizing their license, reputation and ability to practice medicine.

Yes, residents learn that to be ethical #doctors, they must first do no harm. They can also learn to first help themselves.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Dealing With #Suicide

Greg Smith

My cousin’s 15-year-old son committed #suicide.

Caught up in activities with school friends that got out of hand, he had made a promise to do some things that did not go the way he planned. Sick and afraid, at church with his family, he had his mother take him home. She put him to bed, then went downstairs to get him some water. A single shot rang out. He had been so afraid of disappointing his parents, getting into trouble with them, that he made a decision to take his life rather than to face what seemed like insurmountable troubles. His devastated parents, who were so proud of him and loved him unconditionally, would never have the chance to explain to him that a parent’s love is not predicated on perfection but on a bond so strong that even death could never break it.

#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

Halfway through the year in Aiken County, we had already had 21 suicides. Twenty-one people who decided for myriad reasons that life was unbearable, that there was something better, that they were too ashamed to go on, that the hurts were too harsh or the damage too deep. Some probably left notes. Some probably left clues pointing to what was about to happen. Some probably made the decision, told no one and carried out a plan that they saw as redemption. I don’t know the stories behind the decision to end each one of these lives, but I’m sure there were stories to share.

Who were they? Nineteen of them were #males and two were #females. Their ages ranged from 16 to 95 years old. Nineteen were white, one was #black and one was #Hispanic. Eleven of them had alcohol or other drugs on board at the time of death. Overwhelmingly, they killed themselves with guns. Fifteen males decided to end their lives using guns.

Do these numbers, our numbers, mirror the national ones? According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “To Lower Suicides, Methods Matter,” by Jo Craven McGinty, 47,173 people killed themselves in 2017. This was up from 29,350 people in the year 2000, according to the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention and the #CentersforDiseaseControl.Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death according to the CDC. Those at greatest risk are white males – middle-aged white males. People like me, and probably like a few of you reading this column, folks. In 2017, white males like me accounted for 70% of all suicides. White #women accounted for 19%. Men of color made up 8% and women of color only 2.5%.

Firearms are the most common method of #suicide used by #men. In 2017, 56% of #males who committed #suicide killed themselves with a firearm. Do our Aiken County numbers mirror the national ones? I think that is easy to see.

One thing that I found fascinating about the Wall Street Journal article was that whether someone acts on the urge to commit #suicide may hinge on having access to their preferred method in a moment of crisis. Because of the percentage of suicides involving guns, wrote Ms. McGinty, the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are working together to encourage the safe storage of firearms. I am not personally against guns by any means (I do not own guns at this time, but I have a younger brother who has been an avid hunter all his life), but the bleak statistics involving firearms and deaths by #suicide are simply too awful to ignore. If someone is struggling and has access to an unsecured and loaded gun at the time of their most severe crisis, tragedy is simply too often the result. Blocking access to this most lethal of methods may indeed save lives.

In the world of #mentalhealthtreatment, we already do a fairly good job of screening for issues including suicidality and plans to harm oneself. However, given the statistics above, we must do better. Eighty-three percent of those who die by #suicide have seen a health care provider in the year before their death. Aiken-Barnwell #MentalHealth is using the Zero Suicide initiative (www.zerosuicide.com) to address this terrible problem. This system uses evidence-based tools, systematic practices and embedded workflows to strive for continuous quality improvement in the assessment, screening and addressing of #suicidalideation in everyone who walks through our doors. It involves systematic changes and improvement in training, identifying those at risk, engaging in a meaningful way, treating #suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and making good transitions to ongoing care and follow-up once the acute crisis has passed.

What can you do?

Remember this number for the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.

Secure your guns if you own them.

Listen. Ask questions. Respond. Act.

Consider participating in the Out of Darkness Walk on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. at the H. Odell Weeks Activity Center in Aiken.

I have lost patients, family members, neighbors and coworkers to #suicide. I wager that many of you reading my column this week have had similar experiences and losses. It will take all of us working together to bring about meaningful change that leads to the end of #suicide.

Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #Suicide Rate Nearly Tripled In #Children Ages 10-14 From 2007-2017

Suicide remains second leading cause of death for adolescents by Meghan Mangrum

Signs and backpacks were scattered across the ground at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to bring awareness to #mentalhealthissues on Thursday, March 22, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Some backpacks included belongings of #suicide victims and some contained letters with information about those college students.

#Suicide remains the second leading cause of death nationally for 10- to 24-year-olds, and local #mentalhealth experts want to remind educators, parents and community members what to look for and how to support children who are struggling.

For children aged 10-14, the #suicide rate tripled from 2007-2017, according to the U.S. #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention’s National Center for Health Statistics’ most recent data brief. In 2017, 51 suicides by children aged 10-17 were reported in Tennessee.

The rise in #suicide deaths comes after a pattern of decline more than a decade ago.

#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

From 2000-2007, #suicide rates dropped for children aged 10-14 and remained stable for those aged 10-24, but since 2007 have increased more than 56%, according to the CDC data brief.

#Mentalhealthproviders, as well as Hamilton County Schools officials, recognize the increase is a cause for concern.

Experts caution parents to pay attention to signs that children are struggling

As the local community mourned the child’s death, experts weighed in on the role of counselors in schools and how to talk to children about #suicide.

They cautioned that if parents notice any significant changes in their child’s personality or behavior — including increased fatigue or trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, withdrawing from their friends or a change in peer groups, isolating themselves, persistent complaints about how they feel such as headaches or stomach aches — they should seek expert advice.

Many recommend first visiting a child’s primary care physician or pediatrician, especially if these warning signs have persisted for several weeks, but many #mentalhealthproviders and community #mentalhealth centers can take referrals from doctors, schools or even schedule a first appointment with parents themselves to discuss concerns.

And it’s never too early to look for signs.

“Individuals who are making #suicide attempts and are succeeding and committing #suicide are getting younger and younger,” said Gayle Lodato, senior director of Greater Chattanooga Services for the Helen Ross McNabb Center.

Environmental factors play a big role in emotional, behavioral issues

The CDC report does not analyze causes for increases in suicides, but some #mentalhealth experts acknowledge the effects technology, #socialmedia and the digital age have had on children, especially when it comes to bullying or even accessing information about #suicide or self-harm.

“It used to be that you had to deal with it during the school day and then you could get away from it,” Lodato said. “Now we are constantly connected. Kids feel overwhelmed very quickly, and if they don’t have someone to talk to or don’t feel comfortable talking to adults or their caregivers, then they are left struggling by themselves with these very big, very real feelings.”

Jucinta Rome, a licensed clinical social worker for Erlanger Behavioral Health, has worked with adults and children as young as 3 years old in Chattanooga for more than a decade. She agrees that bullying is often a contributor to potential #mentalhealthissues in children, but she doesn’t think children are particularly meaner than they have been in the past.

“We have this huge issue now with bullying that has taken on a different dynamic with #socialmedia that has really contributed to #mentalhealthissues. Technology has created a way for it to be more secretive,” Rome said. “The research is also showing that time that young people are spending on #socialmedia really tends to isolate them from the normal interactions.”

Trauma or adverse childhood experiences, genetics, both physical and sexual abuse, neglect, being separated from their parents or placed into foster care and other environmental factors also equally contribute to emotional and behavioral issues in children.

Genetics and generational trauma can also play a role, Rome said. Research shows trauma and #mentalhealthissues can be passed down through generations.

But even if a child has experienced trauma or is at high-risk due to their experiences, Rome said, there is hope.

“The research has shown that even when a child has experienced a traumatic event, if they have solid, nurturing relationships and a support system, they never need to step in a counseling office,” she said.

Rome has made it her mission to “emphasize [to] people that relationships are so important with children.”

“If our school system would focus on relationships, I think we would see some improvements in the behavioral issues and also the emotional issues that our children are facing,” she said.

The role of schools in addressing #mentalhealth needs

Hamilton County school board member Tiffanie Robinson, of District 4, spoke at a recent Hamilton County Commission meeting about the need for government officials to come together to work through challenges in the community.

“How did we get to this point that fourth graders feel like they need to take their own life?” Robinson said during the public comment period at the Oct. 23 commission meeting. “We have real problems in this community, there are parts of our community that are sick and we’ve got to figure out how to heal them.”

Superintendent Bryan Johnson has been pushing for additional funding for student supports including school counselors and social workers. As of January 2019, the ratio of counselors to students in the district’s elementary schools was 1 to 612 — well above the 1 to 250 that the American School Counselor Association recommends.

Centerstone, a community #mentalhealth center, provides many of the school-based counselors in Hamilton County and partners with more than 20 counties across the state.

Access remains a barrier to seeking treatment for adults and families, even after they’ve overcome the #stigma of #mentalillness or seeking therapy, but placing counselors in the school building can help alleviate those barriers, said Beth Hail, a licensed clinical social worker and regional vice president for Centerstone.

“Whatever is going on with [all age groups] often is impacting their school performance. If they are dealing with something at home, often they might have trouble focusing, aren’t doing well on tests, are isolated from other students or they’re having trouble with a peer group,” she said. “When we are in schools, there are times we are able to adjust our schedules pretty quickly and we might be able to get to them and address it within a few hours.”

School staff and teachers are important to identifying #mentalhealth needs, and “they have a tough job and a vital one,” Hail said.

“They are trained to educate, but they’re really the eyes and ears, because they are with kids all day, they see them longer than their parents do. They kind of have to be in tune with something that might not be right with this child, but they have a whole classroom of children,” she said. “So that’s where they need additional supports.”

Rome echoed Hail — she believes schools can have a powerful impact on students.

“That’s where kids are on a daily basis and [they] are able to have adults in their lives that generally care about them and generally are concerned about them,” she said.

She also recommends schools focus more on recognizing emotional or behavioral concerns and addressing them from a non-judgmental mindset of seeking solutions, than from a punitive one that seeks to discipline what is deemed bad behavior.

“Come with more of a curious mindset,” she said. “People just don’t know the experiences that children have had in their lives there’s most likely something going on.”

“You can’t educate a child who is struggling emotionally, we just have to be more supportive as a community,” Rome said. “These are needs. They really are needs. They are becoming more prominent, and we have to recognize and accept that. It’s just something we have to recognize and treat it and support it and prevent it.”

Contact Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.

If you are having thoughts of #suicide, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), or the line is available in Spanish at 1-888-628-9454. You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOf Suicide.com/resources.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #DeepakChopra Wants To Help Improve #MentalHealth, Stop #Suicide And Fix Your ‘Me’ Problem

By MICHELLE MARCHANTE

#DeepakChopra says he hasn’t had any stress for 30 years.

“I believe it is a waste of imagination,” Chopra said. “You can either use imagination for stress or you can use imagination to creatively solve problems.”

Chopra, 73, has spent his life advocating for the benefits of alternate medicine. His work has made him a bestselling author of more than 80 books, put him in a social circle that includes the Dalai Lama, and helped him amass more than three million followers on Twitter.

Lady Gaga has called Chopra the most influential person in her life, and Alicia Keyes’ had him officiate her wedding.

The doctor and self-help guru says he has never missed a day of meditation and yoga for the past 45 years. It helps him live a stress-free life, he said, but it’s really because of his “inspiration.”

“I’m always inspired by the idea of personal and social transformation so we can reach a critical mass of humanity in the direction of a more peaceful, just, sustainable and healthier world,” he said. “As long as I keep that in mind then there is no stress. Stress only occurs when you think about yourself.”

#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

So, what is Chopra up to now?

He’s involved in a “grassroot global movement” with actress Gabriella Wright, director Michel Pascal and social entrepreneur Poonacha Machaiah to spread awareness about the importance of #mentalhealth and #suicideprevention to young adults.

Poor #mentalhealth can not only increase the risk of #suicide which is the fourth leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 54 but can also increase the risk for other types of physical health problems like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes or strokes, according to the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention.

“It affects every aspect of your life from your relationships to your job to your community and the world at large,” Chopra said.

Despite his large following, the campaign didn’t start with a tweet. It started with a documentary now called “I Am Never Alone” a few months ago that met its initial #GoFundMe goal within a week.

Chopra said Wright asked him to participate in the documentary she was doing with Pascal to discuss #suicide and #mentalhealth awareness. During their talks, she shared a personal story with him about her 28-year-old sister who committed #suicide, he said. Moved by her story, he agreed to be in the film.

The film, which is completed but hasn’t been released yet, is an opportunity to open a line of communication with others to address #mentalhealth and its connection to the rising suicidal toll in the country, he said.

Over 47,000 people died from #suicide in the U.S. in 2017, according to the #NationalInstituteofMentalHealth. #Suicide rates went up more than 30 percent in half of the states from 1999 through 2016, according to a June 2018 #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention data analysis.

The campaign, which is in the works of becoming a nonprofit, looks to share information and resources on what affects #mentalhealth, how it can be improved, and the ways to identify and decrease the risk of #suicide.

“We think if you have a global community both online and off line that is dedicated to service, spiritual practice and emotional spiritual support, then we can actually change this epidemic of #depression and #suicide that is plaguing the world from celebrities to young kids,” Chopra said.

However, while #mentalhealth conditions are often seen as the cause of #suicide, the CDC says #suicide is usually caused by multiple factors, and that many who die by #suicide were not diagnosed with a #mentalhealth condition.

The majority of people who have #depression also do not die by #suicide, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. But, it does increase their risk of #suicide compared to those without #depression.

Chopra, who has faced criticism for using medical and scientific terms like “Quantum Healing” during his alternate medicine lectures, videos and books, says the campaign will be encouraging young adults to find the treatments that will help them improve their #mentalhealth. This could be through prescribed medication or through breathing exercises like meditation and yoga, which Chopra recommends you do for at least five to 20 minutes.

He also thinks spiritual health is another aspect of living a healthy life and plans to address the topic during a speech at Barry University in Miami Shores early next month.

The Nov. 1 event, which is not sponsored by the university or its student groups, will focus on his new book “Meta Human: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential,” which explains how people can separate themselves from their “me” mentality and enter into a “higher state of consciousness.”

The book, which plays on the superhero term for human with superpowers, matches the “Never Alone” campaign despite focusing on an independent idea.

“Everything that can cause a problem in the world today, including depression, comes from the condition of the human mind,” Chopra said. “Meta means beyond and human means, in this case, the condition of the human mind.”

He says people are conditioned from birth “into social constructs that encourages them to be selfish.” This “isolated identity,” he said, makes people think in terms of “me and then there’s the rest of the world,” which he calls a mistaken identity or ego identity.

“Our true identity is that we are connected to each other, we are social beings and that is how it is meant to be,” Chopra said. “That we do not think of ourselves all time, we think more in terms of love, compassion … (the world) is a projection of our collective selfishness right now and that gives rise to war, terrorism, ecotourism, extinction of species, climate change, mechanized death, nuclear weapons and leaders who … are all gangsters, mobsters that reflect our collective ego.”

If you or someone you love is at risk of #suicide, you can call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-272-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). The free hotline is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and all calls are kept confidential. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 800-799-4889.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – What #Teens Think about #Depression and #Suicide

#Teen chats reveal lack of connection and loneliness are what contributes to #mentalillness and #suicide, despite #socialmedia

By Andrea Berryman Childreth, #MentalHealthAdvocate and Parent Coach at The Lemonade Project/On The Edge: Help and hope for parenting children with mental illness.

Diverse multi-ethnic students sitting around circle table listen schoolmate ideas studying together in cafe. Multiracial best friends gathered together doing exercise homework making notes on notepad
Diverse multi-ethnic students sitting around circle table listen schoolmate ideas studying together in cafe. Multiracial best friends gathered together doing exercise homework making notes on notepad

On a chilly evening, 15 teenagers sat in a circle in a cozy living room, a little anxious and not quite sure what to expect from an invitation from local moms to chat about teen #mentalillness and #suicide.

These courageous teen leaders participated because they recognize an unspoken feeling that #anxiety, #depression and #suicide are on the rise in their schools and community. And, they’re right – #depression and #teen #suicide are up over 50% during the past decade. What these young people spoke about that night was powerful and eye-opening.

The moms’ objective of the gathering was simple – to let the community’s youth give their input and perspective on #mentalhealth and #teen #suicide and provide suggestions for change. Five questions were asked:

  1. What did they believe were the contributing factors to teen #depression and #suicide?
  2. Who is most at risk?
  3. What is being done right?
  4. What is being done wrong?
  5. What could adults be doing differently to address it?

While what was learned wasn’t super surprising, it was shocking to hear the intensity and depth of the emotion being expressed among all the kids. They are greatly impacted by their lack of understanding about #mentalillness and #suicide and feel helpless about how to support a friend or themselves.

#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

Below are some of the key takeaways from each of the topics:

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

  • No one talks about #mentalillness or #suicide.
  • No one is available to talk to about it.
  • The bar is too high and expectations of perfection create #anxiety and #depression.
  • It seems like everyone has a better life than you – you are “never enough.”
  • Loneliness is a key theme.
  • Not having a solid squad leads to #anxiety and #depression.
  • Bullying is an issue – more #mental bullying than anything.
  • #Socialmedia perpetuates #anxiety about everyone else’s great life, loneliness and bullying.

WHO IS AT RISK

Everyone.

WHAT’S BEING DONE RIGHT?

Starting conversations like tonight to talk about it.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE DIFFERENTLY/WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE?

  • Invite conversation. Talk about it more at schools and with parents.
  • Provide more education on #mentalillness and #suicide.
  • Provide more information and resources on how to support a friend or yourself.
  • Schools need to engage more with students.
  • There needs to be more dedicated #mentalhealth counselors – and someone the kids connect with; someone they can trust.

When asked what information is available to them about #suicide at school, a few kids offered, “A poster on the wall in the office.”

At the end of the evening, we asked the kids to answer four questions, confidentially on sheets of paper. One of the questions asked, “If you have ever thought about #suicide, finish the following statement, “I wish . . .”

SIX out of the 15 kids in attendance completed that question.

SIX out of the 15 kids in attendance completed that question.

The following are the questions and some responses:

WHAT DID YOU LEARN TONIGHT?

  • #Socialmedia is the root of a lot of #mentalhealthissues.
  • A lot of us have the same feelings and think the same way but no one talks about it.
  • There are a lot more factors contributing to #suicide than I thought.
  • Pay attention to the little things and signs.
  • You never know what’s going on inside someone’s mind. Be kind.
  • Always tell an adult if you’re having trouble or a friend is… don’t keep quiet.

WHAT WILL YOU DO DIFFERENTLY AFTER TONIGHT?

  • Keep talking about #mentalhealth and #suicide.
  • Realize others may be struggling even though you can’t tell.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE #TEEN CHATS CONTINUE IN THE FUTURE?

  • Hold more gatherings like this one.
  • Keep the conversation going.
  • More activities and interaction.
  • Talk more about real life circumstances.

IF YOU’VE THOUGHT ABOUT #SUICIDE, COMPLETE THIS STATEMENT, “I WISH . . .”

  • “I wish someone knew how I was feeling.”
  • “I wish someone was there for me.”
  • “I wish I said I love you more to family.”
  • “I wish I had told someone.”
  • “I wish I talked about it.”

Takeaways for the adults? Continue to communicate about #mentalhealth and #suicide. Share the information with other adults and parents. Advocate for change in the schools and among legislators.

Photo by Andy Kuzma on Pexels.com
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