Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Three Surprising Stats from National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI), and Suicide Prevention Tips

·         1 in 5 adults in America experiences a mental illness
·         Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in youth ages 15-24
·         75% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 24

This infographic/link describes the nature of self-harm and why it can be an important warning sign to watch out for.

Several families I know have some tough topics related to this weighing heavily on their hearts: depression, self-harm, and suicide.  Some wish they had known sooner how to recognize the warning signs of depression, address self-harm, and/or help to prevent someone from committing suicide.  There is still time to learn and educate others. 

Education about mental illness is one of the best ways we can promote health, trust, openness, and offer support.  There are still a number of people who think that depression is just a bad mood or a negative outlook that could easily be turned around if the person was willing to make more of an effort.  As long as those myths remain, we have work left to do.     

Need an excellent resource on Depression & Suicide Prevention?  
This info-packed website has tons of informative articles, links, lists, and resources.  They also have a great motto: 
Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business

Check out this info-packed website for the signs that someone might be suicidal and tips on how to help them.  Don’t ignore them.  Seek help and support for your loved one as well as yourself.  

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), provides access to trained telephone counselors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You're Only as Sick as Your Secrets

I began having bouts of depression around the age of nine.  Of course back then, I had no clue that I was dealing with an illness or that there was a term to describe the desire to end my life.  

Some lessons I’ve learned the hard way, by struggling through and/or by accompanying a loved one in the trenches.  Other aspects of depression, possible symptoms and signs, I’ve discovered through articles, books, and conversations.  

This is my personal reflection on how depression feels: A Taste of the Agony in the Garden.     

My Personal Prayer for Depression Sufferers: Lord, draw close to Your heart every person who has nearly lost the will to live, who has lost hope, and/or who can see no reason for their lives, no greater purpose or significance in their existence.  Help them reach out in honesty and truth to those around them.  Give them the courage to voice their thoughts, feelings, fears, and hopes to someone they can trust.  Open the hearts and minds of those who are in a position to offer them help, hope, encouragement, support, and prayers. 
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