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

Saskatoon teen creates mental health app for victims of bullying

A Saskatoon teen who was bullied in school starting in Grade 2 has developed an app to help other kids address and cope with mental health and bullying. 

Kelli Lemstra says the bullying began in Grade 2.

“I was struggling with the relationships with a lot of my friends,” she said. “It got really hard when everyone started getting cell phones which was in Grade 7 and 8.” That’s when the 16-year-old said things became unbearable.

“(People) were texting me awful things, commenting on all of my social media, making rude accounts about me, calling me on my phone on unknown caller telling me to kill myself,” she said.

With what Kelli thought was a lack of support from her school, and no way to make the bullying stop, the teen and her parents didn’t know where to turn.  more

What Suicidal Depression Feels Like

I don’t know if you have noticed, but ever since Robin Williams died, I have removed the filter from my writing that keeps me safe from jaw-dropping, disappointing head gestures, and all kinds of judgments that authentic writing invites. I just really don’t care anymore what people think because lives are at stake. If this brutal beast of an illness is strong enough to kill someone with the passion, determination, and genius of Robin Williams, then we must do everything we can to protect those who are more fragile. That means being brave and writing as honestly as I can on a taboo subject so few people understand, even if it means getting disapproving stares from other parents at my kids’ school.

When I first heard about Robin’s death, my first reaction was this: “The poor guy sneezed.”

I know that probably doesn’t make sense to anyone who has never experienced severe depression. But if I can, let me try to translate the urgency to take one’s life into language you might grasp. Suicidal depression is like having to sneeze. The impulse can be so strong, that you simply follow your body’s command without thinking too much of it. You don’t think about your family or the reasons not to do it. All you’re feeling is an incredible itch to sneeze, and you’re certain that anything short of sneezing wouldn’t relieve you of the sensation.  more

When athletes share their battles with mental illness

Michael Phelps locked himself in his bedroom for four days three years ago. He’d been arrested a second time for DUI. He was despondent and adrift. He thought about suicide.

“I didn’t want to be alive,” he tells USA TODAY Sports. “I didn’t want to see anyone else. I didn’t want to see another day.”

Family and friends — “a life-saving support group,” Phelps calls them — urged him to seek professional help. He got it. And now he wants others who are suffering from mental health issues to find the help they need.  more

South Africa Health Minister reportedly bans doggy style during sex, says it causes teenage pregnancies and back pain for adults

While this is a little off topic for this blog, I just felt it was so absurd (and insane) that I had to share:

South Africa Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi has cautioned South African men to desist from the “doggy style” saying this lovemaking style is leading cause of teenage pregnancies, cancer, stroke and back pains for adults.

According to Aaron Motsoaledi, after six years of arduous research, he found out that one gets overworked during sex when one is standing or kneeling and overloads the veins in the legs which ultimately causes back pains and a stroke.  more

Hospital Addressing Physician Suicide Crisis By Asking Doctors To Wear “Crazy” Socks

Since January, three female medical professionals — two physicians and a medical student — have tragically died by suicide in New York City. Their deaths have been bringing attention to a hidden mental health crisis impacting physicians all across the U.S. — one in which some hospitals are addressing by asking their doctors to wear “crazy” socks.

On May 30, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital — where a young physician leapt to her death in January — sent an email to staff about Crazy Socks 4 Docs, an initiative started by an Australian physician, aimed at bringing awareness to the mental health of doctors worldwide.  more

16 Things you miss when you’re on a psych ward

I checked myself back into the hospital last week. It was a last resort kind of thing, and I was feeling extremely depressed and suicidal. I had self harmed though not badly (if there’s such a thing as wimpy self harm, I have done it) and after a med change and some consultation on my migraines, I’m doing much better. However, here are a few things you miss when you’re in a psych ward.

  1. Music. A radio is available to patients normally, but if you like anything that wouldn’t be played on a radio, you are out of luck.  more