As suicides rise in Wisconsin and across the U.S., our ‘wounded healers’ are more important than ever

THEY ARE THE COUNSELORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS OFTEN BEST ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE RECOVER BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN THERE THEMSELVES.

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or text “Hopeline” to the National Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

From China to Europe, from India to South America, average suicide rates around the world have fallen 33 percent since 1990.

Not in the United States. American suicide rates are at their highest levels since World War II, making suicide the second leading cause of death between ages 10-34, government data show.

The increase in suicides, combined with record levels of drug overdoses and alcohol-related fatalities, are so extreme that they’re lowering the life expectancy of the average American. Mental health problems disable more American workers than any other affliction — suburban, rural or urban — and caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue are epidemic.  more

Newly discharged mental health patients at much higher risk of death

Such patients are 90 times more likely to die from drugs overdose than general population, research finds

People with mental health problems are at a hugely increased risk of dying from unnatural causes, including suicide, soon after they have been discharged from hospital, new research reveals.

Such patients are 38 times more likely to die of fatal poisoning and 90 times more likely to perish from a drugs overdose than the general population, according to a new study.

Experts say the difficulties some people with serious mental illness have in adjusting to life after a spell of inpatient care are likely to explain the higher death rate among that group of vulnerable patients.  more

A young mom’s powerful obituary is shedding light on opioid addiction

A young Vermont mother who died as a result of opioid addiction is being memorialized by her family in a fearless obituary calling for a more open understanding of the illness that took her life.

Madelyn Linsenmeir, 30, died October 7. In her obituary published in The Burlington Free Press, her family wasted no time in sharing the truth: Linsenmeir was addicted to drugs. But, they said, she was also a loving mother, a beloved daughter, a talented singer and a charming person even in the throes of addiction.
“It is impossible to capture a person in an obituary, and especially someone whose adult life was largely defined by drug addiction,” the obituary reads. “To some, Maddie was just a junkie—when they saw her addiction they stopped seeing her. And what a loss for them.”  more