by James Gordon
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) — The stresses of months of quarantine, joblessness and seeing images of violent civil unrest could take a toll on your #mentalhealth. Sadly, #pandemic-related suicides have been reported in many parts of the country.
But there’s a new tool coming for those on the edge.
One of the factors affecting #mentalhealth is information overload.
“Pick one of two times a day that you chose to be informed, whatever topic it is, and then turn the TV off. Turn Facebook and Instagram off, lower your time on #socialmedia, and really technology in general. There’s a lot of research to support the more time you spend on technology the more stressed or depressed you are,” said licensed counselor Kari Whatley.
Whatley uses equine therapy to treat clients who have contemplated #suicide.
“If you wanted to have a recipe to create #depression and #anxiety and increase #stress in people, it would be the #pandemic,” said Whatley.
The #COVID-19 #pandemic, racial unrest and so much more uncertainty in the world can easily become triggers for #suicide.
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
In a recent NBC News report, the focus was on a staggering rise in #suicide attempts by #Black #children. The report states that nationwide, #Black and brown #children are less likely than non-#Latino or #white #children to receive #mentalhealthservices.
Regardless of race or circumstance, we’ve seen a spike in #suicide calls. For example, in Baldwin County this year between the months of March and June there were 41 #suicide attempt calls and 150 #suicide threat calls to 911.
“We have experts on a lot of situations, but preventing a #suicide is definitely not one of those. So we would have some call scripts that could help us,” said Baldwin County 911 Director Joby Smith.
On the horizon is a new nationwide 9-8-8 number to be launched next month. Three lifesaving digits connect the caller directly to the #NationalSuicidePreventionHotline.
“9-8-8 is going to get them more quickly to the people who are trained to help them with their problems,” said Smith.
That new 9-8-8 number will be launched in July, pending FCC approval.