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

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Mental health: Finding someone to talk to

‘I’ve had a good experience compared to other people’

Karla says she knows she’s been lucky. Her experience of accessing mental health care has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’ve got two long-term health conditions but it was this year that it became a real issue. In January I did attempt suicide,” she says.

Karla, who lives in Derby, adds: “I got CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) really quickly, within a couple of weeks. And in that time, I was seeing my GP pretty much every day. He made time to make sure I was OK.

“It doesn’t happen very often that people have that experience. I was really fortunate to have a GP who took the time. The access can be such a problem.”

And she says her CBT made a significant difference. “The therapist helped me through a lot of things. I’m officially in recovery from depression and anxiety. I’m in a far better place.  more

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One Patient’s Mission to Shatter Psych Ward Stigmas

A range of treatments, including inpatient stays, helped a young woman regain control of her life. By sharing her experience, she hopes to reach others in need.

When you hear the term “psych ward,” what first comes to mind?

Even if you’re pretty open-minded, you probably don’t picture me. I’m a composed young woman with perky, brown curls for days. I’m soft-spoken and you wouldn’t pick me out from a crowd.  more

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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

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More children are dying by suicide. Researchers are asking why

Samantha Kuberski hanged herself with a belt from a crib. She was 6.

Razy Sellars was 11 when he took his life. Gabriel Taye was 8. Jamel Myles was 9.

Suicide in elementary school-aged children remains rare: 53 children aged 11 and younger took their lives in 2016, the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has data. But medical professionals and researchers have noted alarming increases in the last decade – deaths more than doubled from 2008 to 2016 – and rising numbers of young children visiting emergency rooms for suicidal thoughts and attempts.  more

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World Suicide Prevention Day

Welcome

The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In Australia more than 2800 people die each year with latest figures (2016) telling us that 2,866 Australians took their own life. Recent research tells us that hundreds of Australians are impacted by each suicide death. Research also tells us that some 65,000 people attempt suicide each year and hundreds of thousands of people think of suicide.  Take a minute to think about the pain and suffering suicide being felt by every single person impacted by suicide.  more

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Mental Health Expert Talks Hollywood’s Battle with Depression

Mental illness has long had a stigma associated it, and Hollywood is working to shine a light on the problem, both for those in and out of the entertainment industry.

Kita S. Curry has made a career of studying mental health as president and CEO of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, the nation’s leading provider of community health and substance use programs. Curry spoke to Variety about the struggle many actors and musicians have with depression and substance abuse, due both to their hectic schedules and dealings with fame.  more

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