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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – 101 University #Students Commit Suicides In 2021: Study

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At least 101 university #students allegedly committed #suicide in 2021 according to a report of volunteer organisation Aachol Foundation.

The #students are from 59 universities and Dhaka University topped in the list with at least nine cases of #suicide.

Aachol Foundation published its report on suicides in 2021 in an online discussion on Saturday.

The report was made public amid concerns of #mentalhealthexperts who have been alerting since the beginning of #Covid?19 that the #pandemic may complicate the #mentalhealthproblems of the people of all ages, especially the #youths.

The foundation in its report said that 60 of the victims were aged between 22 to 25 years.

#Students of bachelor’s third and fourth years were the most vulnerable among the group, added the foundation report titled ‘The Shocking Upsurge in Suicide Cases among University Students: The Liability of Stakeholders.’

The report was prepared collecting information from 50 national and local daily newspapers from January to December 2021, said Aachol Foundation officials at the programme.

Speakers at the discussion said that there should be concerted efforts to tackle social, financial and family problems and love affair-related complications that were presumably fuelling the tendency to commit #suicide.

Aachol Foundation president Tansen Rose said that the staggering rise in #suicide cases was very alarming.

He said that among the #suicide victims, nine were of Dhaka University, six each of Jagannath University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, 12 of medical colleges and 23 of various private universities.

The rest were from various colleges and universities across the nation.

A total of 65 #male #students committed #suicide, accounting for 64.36 per cent of the total victims.

In the case of #female #students, however, the figure was 35.64 per cent.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Dhaka University clinical psychology department professor Kamal Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury at the programme said that #suicide caused havoc on many families silently during the #Covid #pandemic.

He said, ‘It is difficult to eliminate the menace entirely, but can be reduced with proper actions.’

‘We are less concerned about a large number of #suicide cases. Since we are not aware of #mentalhealth, the number of #suicide cases may rise in future,’ he said.

National Institute of #MentalHealth and Hospital associate professor Helal Uddin Ahmed said that it was not a conclusive report, but it was certainly a good initiative that provided analytical perspective.

He said that #Covid #pandemic had contributed massively to #mentalcrisis and #anxiety resulting from financial hardships and the fear about the disease.

He said that #patients who visited them for treatment are mostly suffering from #mentalcrisis triggered by #Covid?related difficulties. 

Tansen said that increased social, financial, and family pressures during the #pandemic were a major regulator of male student #suicide cases.

Relationship problems caused havoc on #students and led to psychological deterioration as the highest 24.75 per cent of the 101 victims committed #suicide due to troubled relationship, the report showed.

About 19.80 per cent committed #suicide due to family problems, about 15.84 per cent for mental dissatisfaction, about 10.89 per cent for academic reasons and about 4.95 per cent due to financial difficulties.

Drug addiction also contributed to about 2 per cent of the cases.

‘This is an alarming issue that must be addressed immediately because it represents the deterioration of the youth’s #mentalhealth and how many lives have withered away due to the absence of widespread #mentalhealthservices,’ said Professor Kamal.

A study of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistic also found 70 per cent more deaths from #suicide from #Covid-19 in 2021 than from the first year of the #coronavirus #pandemic.

Director General of Health Services, in February 2021, showed that 5,200 people died from #Covid infections, while BBS statistics said that 11,000 people reportedly killed themselves in the same period across the country.

According to the BBS, about 10,000 people killed themselves in 2019 and the figure was 11,259 in 2020 while Aachol Foundation recorded 14,436 deaths in #suicide between March 2020 and March 2021.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – What #Employers Need To Know About #SuicidePrevention

by 

Summary.   What should organizations do to help prevent #suicide among its #employees — and to help support #suicidesurvivors after the death of a coworker? Research suggest first leaders and managers must recognize the workplace predictors of #suicide. Then, create a respectful…more

Between 1999 and 2018, the rate of #suicide deaths in the #UnitedStates increased by 35%. Each year, approximately 47,000 #Americans die by #suicide, which equates to approximately 130 deaths each day. The majority of #suicide deaths occur among working age individuals, and statistics show that the number of suicides enacted at work have reached record highs.

As the world continues to battle an ongoing #pandemic, more individuals are at risk for experiencing decreased #mentalhealth as well as increased #suicidalthoughts and #behaviors. Now, more than ever, it is critical for organizations to evaluate the role they play in preventing #suicide deaths, as well as strategize about ways to aid those considering #suicide and effectively support #suicidesurvivors after the death of a coworker.

Workplace Predictors of #Suicide

#Suicide is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by several intersecting life factors, including individual attributes, environmental conditions, and access to lethal means. As a result, identifying #employees at risk for dying by #suicide is a complicated process. Our research has shown that one important piece of the puzzle involves employees’ work experiences, including characteristics of the job itself (e.g., meaningfulness, autonomy, variety) and social interactions with coworkers. Take, for example, the #suicide deaths or attempts of 13 #employees at the Chinese manufacturing company Foxconn in response to extreme working conditions, or the #suicide deaths of 35 #employees at the French-based telecommunication company Orange as a result of managerial #bullying. These situations underscore the very real and adverse effects that the workplace can have on employees’ psyches and #behaviors, which can ultimately result in #suicide.

We conducted a review of more than 500 studies related to work and #suicide to uncover the work-related factors that predict employees’ #suicidalthoughts and #behaviors. At the core of the review, we identified social and psychological pain to be the central causes of #suicide-related #behavior. According to the interpersonal theory of #suicidesocial pain occurs because individuals are unable to establish meaningful connections with others or perceive themselves to be a burden to others. On the other hand, the psychache theory of #suicide focuses on psychological pain that is akin to mental suffering or extreme anguish. Individuals who experience either type of pain may enact #suicide to end their suffering, especially when they perceive their situations as unchanging or hopeless.

Workplaces are inherently social institutions. While they can provide a sense of community, they can also engender feelings of both social pain and psychological pain. Our review of the literature uncovered a multitude of factors that predict #suicide-related thoughts and #behaviors among #employees, including interpersonal relations, work-family conflict, unstable employment, unemployment, burnout, fatigue, job demands (e.g., workload, stressors, scheduling), job characteristics (e.g., meaningfulness, autonomy, variety), and the physical work environment (e.g., ergonomic and safety features).

As apparent from this varied list, the predictors of #suicide are not limited to a single industry or occupation; any job can engender #suicidalideation. Indeed, #suicide develops from experiences of social and/or psychological pain, which can develop from detrimental aspects of any workplace. For this reason, all organizations must be cognizant of their influences on employees’ #mental well-being, as well as actions they can take to reduce suicides. Additionally, organizations must be prepared to respond to an employee’s #suicide death — actions known as postvention strategies.

Organizational Prevention Strategies

In light of the relationship between workplace factors and #suicide, organizations have an obligation to prevent #suicide-related deaths. The #SuicidePreventionResourceCenter (#SPRC) is federally funded and uses research to create infrastructures to prevent #suicide deaths. The #SPRC recommends that organizations can use three primary strategies to proactively address #suicide: 1) create a respectful, inclusive work environment, 2) identify #employees who may be at risk, and 3) create a plan to respond to take action.

Create a respectful work environment and foster social inclusion.

Social connectedness is essential for fulfilling employees’ belongingness needs and helping them to feel part of the work community. While important for all #employees, fostering social connectedness will become increasingly important as more #employees engage in telework or work in #isolation, both due to the current #Covid-19 #pandemic and changing technological innovations. Thus, inclusion should be a key component of a workplace #suicideprevention program.

Organizations can foster a sense of connectedness by establishing mentoring programs and encouraging team-based work projects that allow #employees to share ideas and collaborate to reach goals. Providing opportunities for #employees to informally engage with another can also build social bonds and has been shown to predict job satisfaction and affective well-being. In providing such opportunities, it is important for organizations to create workplace social norms that favor respectful communication and #behaviors.  Research has demonstrated that incivility and #bullying are on the rise within workplaces. Such deviant #behaviors not only degrade social bonds but also isolate employees at work, therefore making possibly at-risk #employees more susceptible to experiencing #suicide-related thoughts and #behaviors.

Identify #employees who may be at risk.

Managers and HR professionals are important gatekeepers for recognizing individuals who are at risk of #suicide and aiding those who need help. In addition to workplace specific factors, prior research has identified the following as risk factors of #suicide: 1) health conditions such as #mentalillness, #alcohol and #substanceabusedisorders, as well as major physical illnesses; 2) negative life events including unemployment, job lossand loss of key relationships; 3) a personal history related to #suicide such as a family history of #suicide deaths, previous #suicideattempts, and a history of trauma or abuse; and 4) access to lethal means, which includes accessibility to means to enact #suicide such as a firearm and other weapons or lethal medications.

Tackling these risk factors may be extremely challenging for leaders, however. Directly asking #employees about certain topics may be protected under the #AmericanswithDisabilitiesAct, such as asking #employees to disclose #mentalillnesses. It is important to refer to continuously managed resources, such as those provided by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Job Accommodation Network, to determine whether it is legal to ask specific questions.

Despite this challenge, it’s important for managers to understand these factors so that they can provide #employees with adequate social support and access to resources — even when an #employee has not explicitly indicated suicidal intentions. For instance, when organizations undergo restructuring or have to make layoffs, these changes in employment status could contribute to #suicidalideation or #behaviors among the affected #employees. Thus, an important component of any organizational change or severance package would be access to #mentalhealthresources and #healthcare.

Additionally, while a manager is restricted in the types of questions they can ask #employees, #employees may voluntarily disclose information that would indicate their potential risk for #suicide. As an example, a person might reveal that they own a gun. While this information on its own isn’t alarming, it would be important knowledge to have if that #employee were to experience a serious negative work event such as being written-up or passed over for a promotion. In this instance, if a manager felt concerned about the employee’s safety, they could take actions to contact the appropriate individuals (e.g., the police or a #mentalhealthprofessional).

Keep in mind that, although the factors discussed above are risk factors to #suicide, not all #employees who meet these criteria will be affected by #suicidalthoughts or #behaviors. For instance, having a #mentalillness does make one more vulnerable to dying by #suicide, but not all individuals with a #mentalillness die by #suicide. Rather, knowing this information can be vitally important in certain contexts or in the presence of other concerning #behaviors.

Because of this, it’s also essential for #employers to pay attention to employees’ language and #behaviors that might indicate someone is experiencing distress, such as withdrawing oneself, acting anxiously, or experiencing extreme mood swings, or talking about being a burden to others, feeling hopeless, or having no reason to live. For example, if an #employee has recently undergone a divorce and has been very withdrawn at work for several weeks, managerial intervention would be valuable. Intervention could include checking in on the #employee and referring the #employee to available #mentalhealthresources (e.g., employee assistance programs, local psychological service providers, support groups).

There may also be times when a manager perceives an #employee to be at risk, but the #employee is not – even in these instances, no harm is done by reaching out and offering extra support. In other words, managers should not be fearful about getting it “wrong.” Equally important, it is necessary to develop a climate within which #employees feel comfortable reaching out to others rather than relying on others to notice their risk factors or #behaviors to receive help. Practitioners can refer to previous HBR articles that provide guidance on how to create these inclusive and supportive climates.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Create a plan to take action.

Recognizing that an #employee is in need is not enough on its own. Managers and HR professionals need to be prepared to help individuals get help. This preparation includes training managers about #mentalhealthconcerns, creating strategies for having difficult conversations, and developing an action plan that can be enacted should a crisis arise. To act swiftly and appropriately in these situations, organizations should prepare a decision-making flowchart that outlines who and in what order to contact should an immediate risk arise (an example of what such a flowchart might look like is on page 17 of this report). Managers should also compile a list of available resources and make these publicly available to #employees, including contact information for EAPs, local #mentalhealthproviders, and community resources such as support groups or treatment programs.

Managers should perform routine check-ins with #employees (especially those at risk) to gauge their well-being and to listen to any concerns without passing judgment. These conversations provide opportunities for managers to inform #employees of available resources as well as to remind the #employee that they are supported and cared about in the workplace. Although managers are often important gatekeepers who can monitor changes in employees’ #behaviors, their primary role is to provide #employees with information and resources for help-seeking — the managers themselves are not expected to counsel or solve the employees’ struggles. Maintaining this boundary is important for protecting the well-being of the manager as well.

Finally, organizations should invest in #suicide and #mentalhealth training that builds employees’ and managers’ efficacy for having difficult workplace conversations and reduce the #stigma associated with #suicide. By making #mentalhealth a priority in organizations, individuals may feel more comfortable reaching out for help if a need arises. Most importantly, managers, and HR professionals should err on the side of caution and intervene anytime they believe someone is at risk for #suicide – a quick response is critical, as once a #suicide occurs the window for prevention is permanently closed.

Organizational Postvention Strategies

Unfortunately, organizations may not be able to prevent all #suicide deaths, and they need a plan for postvention — psychological first aid, crisis intervention, and support offered after a #suicide death.

First and foremost, recovery from a #suicide death is a process that should be handled with intention and sensitivity. In the immediate aftermath of #suicide, managers’ responses fall into the acute stage that requires protecting the privacy of the deceased, communicating quickly and clearly to quell rumors or misinformation, and offering practical assistance to family members. The short-term response involves identifying affected #employees and providing them support through EAPs and other resources. Importantly, not all #employees will be impacted the same way and #grief can manifest differently. In this time frame, it is necessary to be flexible and patient as #employees come to terms with the loss, and to allow time and space for employees to grieve (which likely necessitates changes in expectations for productivity).

Finally, in the long-term response, managers should be mindful of important milestones or anniversaries that may be difficult for #suicidesurvivors — and to honor those who have died by #suicide in a respectful manner. This process involves continued investment in #suicideprevention programs and policies to minimize the likelihood of future #suicide deaths.

While many companies are embracing the importance of well-being, few have focused specifically on the role of #suicide. To be effective, policies and practices must specifically target #suicide, as conventional well-being programs (e.g., mindfulness, yoga) will likely fail to identify #employees who are at the greatest risk. Most importantly, organizations can support employees in crisis by investing in suicide prevention programs. If even just one person is helped, the investment will pay dividends many times over.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of #suicide, please use the resources below to seek help.

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Read more on #Mentalhealth or related topics Workplace health and safety and Personnel policies

  • Kayla Follmer is an assistant professor in the John Chambers College of Business at West Virginia University. Her research interests are broadly focused on #diversity and #inclusion within the workplace, with a specific emphasis on understanding the work experience of employees with #mentalillness.
  • Matt C. Howard is an assistant professor in the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama. His research interests include methodology and statistics, health and well-being, personality and individual differences, as well as computer-based training and development.
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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – The #MentalHealth Troubles Of Middle-Aged #Men

We may need a subspecialty of middle-aged psychiatry to support midlife health.

Rob Whitley, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Gary Drevitch

KEY POINTS

  • Research suggests that stressful life events, like divorce or unemployment, have a more negative effect on #men than #women.
  • Middle-aged people with lower educational attainment have been found to be more vulnerable to poor #mentalhealth than others.
  • There is a need for specific, gender-sensitive support and services for vulnerable middle-aged #adults struggling with unwelcome life experiences.

There are many psychiatric subspecialties focused on specific age categories. These include #child psychiatry, #youth #mentalhealth, and geriatric psychiatry. But there is no subspecialty known as “mid-life #mentalhealth” or “middle-aged psychiatry.”

This is concerning, as statistics indicate that this can be an especially vulnerable period. For example, suicides in Western countries are particularly pronounced in the 40-60 age group, with especially high rates in middle-aged #men.

Evidence suggests that the experience of sudden life events that often occur in the middle years of life, including job loss and divorce, can particularly damage men’s #mentalhealth. (For more, see my new book Men’s Issues and Men’s #MentalHealth.)

Unemployment and Job Loss

The postwar years have seen massive socio-economic changes across the Western world, mainly in the form of a transition from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy. This shift has led to a major decline in industries such as manufacturing that once gave secure and meaningful employment to blue-collar and less-educated #men, who have subsequently experienced high rates of unemployment and job loss.

Such unemployment can have severe #financial consequences, and in worst-case scenarios can lead to severe debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure. Several studies show that these factors increase the risk of midlife #male #depression and middle-aged #male #suicide.

Some research indicates that job loss and unemployment tend to have a more negative effect on #men than #women. Indeed, one seminal study of over 1,000 opposite-sex dizygotic twin pairs examined sex differences in pathways to #depression, finding that past-year stressful life events related to financial, employment, and legal issues were strong risk factors for #male #depression, but not for #female #depression.

This greater impact on #men has been related to several factors by a variety of different studies. First, #men still tend to shoulder the burden of being the primary family breadwinner, and their income is often essential to support a household. The loss of this income can have a devastating impact on family quality of life. Second, #men tend to derive more purpose and meaning from their work than #women, meaning that the loss of a job can create a painful vacuum. Third, unemployed #men are often stereotyped and stigmatized by wider society, which can negatively affect social inclusion and #self-esteem.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Educational Attainment and Midlife #MentalHealth

Evidence suggests that middle-aged people with low educational attainment are more vulnerable to poor #mentalhealth than those with higher educational attainment. Indeed, one U.S. study found that #suicide rates among the middle-aged were 2.4 times greater among those with a #highschool diploma or less, compared to those with a college degree.

Another study examined over 440,000 suicides in the U.S. and found that #adults who possessed a college degree had the lowest #suicide rates, while those with just a high-#school diploma had the highest rates. Other research indicates that people with just a high-school education have higher rates of #adult #depression and #anxiety compared to those with a graduate or professional degree. This is consistent with other studies which have found that high-#school dropouts had higher rates of #adult #depression than high-school graduates.

Importantly, mounting evidence suggests that low educational attainment is much more common among #males than #females, with research indicating that #males are more likely to fail exams and drop out of high #school, and less likely to attend university and obtain a bachelor’s degree. Such educational underachievement in young #males is widely unrecognized and has not been a policy priority, despite its negative impact on society.

Marital Status and Divorce

Divorce and separation are common occurrences in the middle years of life. Much research indicates that this can have a negative impact on #mentalhealth. For example, a large-scale U.S. study found that unmarried #men aged 40-60 were 3.5 times more likely to die by #suicide compared to married #men of the same age, with markedly higher rates for unmarried #men compared to unmarried #women.

Of note, several elements of the research literature indicate that the #psychosocial experience of divorce can be particularly painful for #men, acting as an acute stressor with chronic consequences. For example, one study found that men experience a much greater loss of social support after divorce compared to #women, mainly because #women tend to maintain stronger links with friends and family throughout marriage than #men.

All of this can leave divorced and separated #men lonely and isolated precisely when they need social support the most. Indeed, fathers are typically separated from their #children after a divorce, with over 80% of custodial #parents in the U.S. and Canada being mothers. This separation from #children can create a particularly painful void for the affected #men, which can breed shameguiltgrief, a sense of failure, and #psychological distress.

Conclusion

For many people, the middle years are a time to enjoy the fruits of their education and labour among family and friends. But for others, it can be a time of severe financial strain, loneliness, and existential despair. As such, concerted action is necessary to address these issues.

  • First, the provision of appropriate education, training, retraining, and vocational opportunities in the middle years should be considered an essential component of an integrated #mentalhealth policy.
  • Second, there is a need for specific and tailored #gender-sensitive supports and services to help vulnerable middle-aged people undergoing unwanted life transitions such as job loss and divorce.
  • Third, there is a need for more focused #mentalhealthresearch on midlife #mentalhealth and evaluation of promising programs, with specific attention paid to #gender differentials.

As yet, there is no subspecialty known as “middle-aged #mentalhealth,” let alone a focus on #gender differentials. This has to change.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #Suicide Vs Suicidal: Why #MentalIllness Is A Never Ending Battle!

By Ahmed Gabr

A modern-day discussion is never over without the mention of #mentalhealth. Even in our MENA region, the internet made therapy an easy topic to bring up in people’s conversations. However, we still have a long way to go in terms of what to say and when to say it. More importantly, never miss the signs of something so dangerous like #mentalhealthissues.

One of which is #suicidalthoughts and #suicide itself. A topic that is still considered taboo in our culture. This sensitive issue always must be proceeded with caution, generating even more delicate arguments that definitely must be proceeded with the utmost caution.

Positive Notes

Let’s start by assessing how caring is too late to fix the issue, and most definitely won’t bring back the dead. To avoid all the heartbreak and ache we need to know how to identify if a person close to us or in our circle is having this specific issue of battling his dark #suicidalthoughts.

Signs of #suicidalthoughts can vary from the subtle to the very alarming. According to a report by WebMD, these symptoms include long-lasting #depression, mood swings, sudden irritation, sleep problems, and #hopelessness. A loss of passion or pleasure in the activities the person used to enjoy can too be a serious sign.

One important thing to watch out for is sudden calmness. If someone is unexpectedly poised after a long period of #depression, it could be a sign that the person has made the decision to end their life. Additionally, avoiding close ones or social activities and constantly choosing to be alone are possible symptoms of #depression, a leading cause of #suicide.

All #suicide threats should be taken seriously; a study has shown that around 50 to 75 percent of all people threatening or talking about #suicide will give a close one a warning sign. They may talk an unusual amount about death or say things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here.” One important thing to bear in mind is that not everyone suicidal will say so and not everyone who threatens #suicide will follow through with it.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

#SuicidalThoughts

More formally known as #SuicidalIdeation is a major issue for many reasons. Firstly, it comes to anyone at any age. Secondly, it is more of a symptom for even bigger psychiatric issues like #depression, #bipolardisorder, and many others.

Another reason why this illness is very hard on people is that it’s difficult to detect and even harder to talk about. Even if a person is lucky enough to have a #therapist, it takes time and effort to go through the negative emotions and reach the bottom of things where #suicidalthoughts may lay in hiding.

This leads us to the main issue, the fact that #suicidalthoughts are looked down upon by society. It is always disregarded and put aside in the best cases, but a person in the MENA region expressing any signs of self-harming thoughts is scolded, and always looked at as attention-seeking.

#Suicide

A topic that is still extremely hard to talk about, especially in Islamic countries. Since it’s a sin in Islam to commit #suicide, the argument that follows any #suicide news is whether to pray for the recently deceased or not? Sometimes it’s even more absurd than that, with argument reaching to whether the deceased is going to heaven or hell.

Only recently that people started to regret the loss of someone and think where did they go wrong and what could’ve they done to prevent this. This naturally takes us back to the point of seeing the signs and the #suicidalthoughts as what they are and not as a way of attention-seeking.

Finally, this issue needs a lot of thorough discussions and back and forth with a big room for compassion and the fear for others from their own thoughts. #Mentalillness is a never-ending battle and people need to choose every day to live; however, when they waver they need to have support, backing them up at any second. Not shaming them.

Ahmed Gabr

Ahmed Gabr, an Arabic Language and Literature major, is an aspiring writer interested in all that the world has to offer in terms of culture, whether it’s art, food, entertainment, or even science. It is a Gabr’s world! And in it, literally anything of cultural significance is delightful and delectable to learn about. Stick around if you want to indulge in an all-you-can-eat buffet for the mind and soul.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – When Relationships Break Down, #Men Are At Risk Of #MentalIllness And #Suicide

By UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

Boyfriend Girlfriend Argue Fight

A new UBC study confirms that when #men transition out of relationships, they are at increased risk of #mentalillness, including #anxiety, #depression, and #suicide.

“Most #men experienced the onset or worsening of #mentalillness symptoms during a distressed relationship or following the breakdown of a relationship,” says the study’s lead author Dr. John Oliffe, a Canada Research Chair and UBC professor of nursing whose work focuses on men’s #mentalhealth. He noted that marital separation quadruples the risk of #male #suicide and suggests that distressed relationships as well as separation and divorce contribute to men’s #mentalhealthchallenges.

Dr. Oliffe and the team at UBC’s Men’s Health Research Program interviewed 47 #men about their experiences with the breakdown of an intimate partner relationship. When faced with conflict in their relationships, #men tended to downplay issues, causing the relationship to fracture even further.

Dr. John Oliffe, UBC nursing professor and men’s health researcher. Credit: University of British Columbia

“Stereotyped masculinity plays a role in how #men react to a broken relationship,” says Dr. Oliffe, who also leads UBC’s Reducing #MaleSuicide research excellence cluster. “For example, men’s uncertainty for how to articulate and problem-solve in the relationship context resulted in many #men isolating rather than reaching out for help. Most #men in the study were battling with transitions in the partnership—like bereavement, parenting or infidelity—and their primary goal was to avoid conflict.”

The study also found that #men who were in distress following their breakup used substances, including #alcohol, to cope with feelings such as anger, regret, sadness, shame and guilt. This is in addition to the immense uncertainty of what life could look like with less access to #children, financial challenges and the loss of social connections.

Complicating these findings is the #isolation and disruption caused by #COVID-19 public health restrictions, which can lead to increased #alcohol and #substanceuse at home, and exacerbate conflict, leading to worsening #mentalhealth, Oliffe added.

On the positive side, the study revealed that following the breakdown of a relationship, #men did engage a variety of resources to address their #mentalhealthneeds.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Gabriela Montaner, men’s health researcher. Credit: University of British Columbia

“Help-seeking efforts among these #men were wide-ranging and included individual or solitary efforts like exercise, reading and self-care while other #men tapped existing networks or extended their efforts to connect with support groups, or attended therapy,” notes Gabriela Montaner, the project lead and co-author on the article.

In thinking about the implication for services, she explained that while #men tend to wait until crisis happens before seeking help, they did invest considerable time and effort to move on from, as well as understand their role in the break-up. “We need to re-conceptualize men’s #mentalhealth promotion as legitimately including self-help, informal resources and #male peer group services in addition to professional services.”

Dr. Oliffe added: “For the longest time we have treated separation and divorce as demographic data for examining risk factor potential in men’s #mentalillness and #suicide. The current study findings provide important contexts and direction for getting upstream to assist #men to build better relationships, and that is the focus of our current work with Movember.”

This study, published last week in Social Science and Medicine – Qualitative Research in Health, was funded by Movember.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – OPINION: Preventing #Suicide And Caring For #Black Men’s #MentalHealth The Right Way

The tragic loss of #ReginaKing’s son, Ian Alexander Jr., is a stark reminder of how important it is to understand what is behind the disproportionate number of #Black men who choose to end their lives.

By Dr. Amanda J. Calhoun/The Op-Ed Project

#ReginaKing Receives Outpouring Of Love And Support After Son’s Tragic Death

Recently, actress and director #ReginaKing’s son, Ian Alexander Jr., only 26 years old, died by #suicide. While the circumstances around what took him to that point remain unclear, it is but another sobering reminder that young #Black #men are dying by #suicide at rates that are increasing faster than any other #racial/#ethnic group in #America.

In 2020, #suicide rates decreased for some #racial/#ethnic groups, but in #Black #youth, #suicide rates continued to increase—even in very young #children. Research from the Association for Psychological Science shows that #Black #boys as young as 5 are twice as likely to die by #suicide compared to their white counterparts,, and according to a recent study in Journal of American Academy of #Child and #Adolescent Psychiatry, from 2003 to 2017, the #suicide rate of #Black #boys as young as 5, increased every year.

And is it really any wonder? According to other research from the APS, #Black #boys as young as 5 are more likely to be seen as aggressive, and data from the U.S. Department of Education shows #Black boys are significantly more likely to be suspended than #white #boys for the same #behaviors, which feeds into the #school to prison pipeline. #Black #boys grow up to become #Black #men, and must deal with the #stress of #racism, which can cause depressive symptoms, thereby contributing to #suicide risk.

It is known that #Black #men have multiple barriers to accessing #mentalhealthcare. What is talked about much less is what occurs when #Black #men do access the #mentalhealthsystem. We need to start talking about the #racism exhibited by #mentalhealthproviders, and the ways in which the #mentalhealthcaresystem can do better for #Black #men.

As a #Black #psychiatrist, I firmly believe that #mentalillnesses are just as important as physical illnesses. But I have also personally observed, over and over again, the ways in which the #mentalhealthsystem alienates #Black #men, and I firmly believe that plays a role in the effectiveness of their treatment.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

#Mentalhealthtreatments are for the most part, not tailored to #Black #men, or #Black people for that matter. #Suicide predictor algorithms show poor sensitivity for #Black populations, and treatment is largely delivered by #white #mentalhealthprofessionals, who do not have the lived experience or training to help #Black #men navigate #racist spaces, where they are commonly made to feel that they must work harder than their #white counterparts.

If we want to improve the #mentalhealth of #Black #men, and reduce rising #suicide rates, in addition to encouraging #Black #men to seek #mentalhealth help, we need to also ensure that when #Black #men do seek care, that they are adequately helped. We need to hold #mentalhealthproviders, like #psychiatrists and #therapists, accountable for treating #Black #men with respect and dignity, instead of arrogance and disdain.

Once, I asked one of my young #Black #male #patients what he thought about therapy. “I hate therapy. I don’t need another #therapist who looks like Judge Judy looking down on me. Can’t you be my #therapist instead?”

I have heard this countless times, but as a #Black person, I make up less than 2% of #psychiatrists and less than 4% of #psychologists are #Black. The #mentalhealth system can do better for #Black #men, and that starts by investment in the pipeline of #Black #mentalhealthprofessionals, like #psychiatrists and #psychologists. We need to invest in having a #mentalhealthworkforce that racially reflects our #patient population and continue to support the existing #mentalhealthprograms that are tailored for #Black #men and the #Blackcommunity at large, such as the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, and Therapy for #Black #Men, among others.

But it goes deeper than that.

Additionally, non-#Black #mentalhealthprofessionals need to be proactively trained in how to monitor their own #racist #behaviors, so that they are not alienating #Black #male #patients when they do seek help. And if all else fails, #Black #men should be routinely advised how to reflect on their #mentalhealthcare experience, as outlined by #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness, and empowered to change providers if needed. Perhaps a #Black #man is not getting better because his #therapist is not treating him well, not because #mentalhealthcare doesn’t work—because it does.

But at any rate, it is high time for the #mentalhealthsystem to truly address #suicide in #Black #men. Their lives depend on it.

Dr. Amanda Calhoun is an #Adult/#Child Psychiatry Resident at Yale #Child Study Center/Yale #School of Medicine. She is also a Public Voices Fellow of the OpEd Project at Yale University.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #Black #Youth Face Rising Rates Of #Depression, #Anxiety, #Suicide

CAROLYN JONES

ALISON YIN FOR EDSOURCE

While nearly all #students have faced #mentalhealthchallenges during the #pandemic, rates of #depression and #anxiety are higher among #Black #students.

Nearly everyone has experienced a degree of #anxiety or #depression due to the #pandemic. But for young #Black people also confronting persistent #racism and ever-widening inequities, the current moment has led to an acute crisis in #mentalhealth.

The #suicide rate among #Black #youth, which for years trailed that of #Asian and #white #students, has doubled since 2014 is now twice the statewide average, far exceeding all other groups, according to the California Department of Public Health. Twelve of every 100,000 #Black 18-24-year-olds died by #suicide in 2020. In 2014 the #Black #suicide rate was about 25% lower than that of #white #students and 15% lower than the rate among #Asian #students.

#Black young people are also more at risk of #depression, #anxiety and #stress due to the #pandemic, and the recent spotlight on #police violence against #Black people, according to a December advisory from the U.S. surgeon general. #Gunviolence, climate change and economic uncertainty also play a role.

“The data is absolutely not surprising. … #Black #students are in a crisis nationally,” said April Clay, head of counseling and psychological services at California State University, Los Angeles. “Many #Black #students are experiencing paralyzing #anxiety and #grief. It’s hard to talk about, and it’s hard for them to find help.”

#Black people generally have suffered disproportionately during the #pandemic, with higher death rates, higher hospitalization rates and less access to #healthcare, according to the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention. But the murder of #GeorgeFloyd in May 2020 brought forth months of intense media coverage of #police brutality and #racism, which some #Black young people said they found deeply stressful.

“The disparate impact of #Covid, plus these additional pressures, have brought #Black #youth to the brink,” said Lishaun Francis, director of #behavioralhealth at Children Now, a research and advocacy organization that recently released a report detailing the challenges facing young people in California, including #mentalhealthstruggles among #Black #youth.

Misdiagnosis also plagues #Black #youth struggling with #mentalhealth, Francis said. A #Black #student who’s acting out in class too often faces discipline rather than counseling, and #Black people with more serious #mentalhealthchallenges, such as #schizophrenia, are more likely to end up in #police custody than in psychiatric treatment.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

For Destiny Tillear, a junior at Middle College High #School in south Los Angeles, the low point came in spring 2020. Her mother, a postal worker, and her stepfather, who works at an oil refinery, were both working full-time in-person, which left Destiny to care for her 2-year-old brother all day while she was in distance learning. One morning she was taking a timed English test when her brother started crying because he needed a diaper change. As the timer ticked away, Destiny tended to the howling toddler and hoped she wouldn’t fail the test.

Her grades did in fact drop during remote learning, which only exacerbated her feelings of despair. She had hoped to attend a top-tier college followed by law #school, but that dream seemed to be fading as the #pandemic wore on.

“One day (when #school returned to in-person instruction) I was stressing about grades and I started crying at #school,” Destiny said. “A #counselor saw me and brought me to her office. She didn’t judge me at all, she just listened. It definitely worked. I saw her a few times. I’m really grateful my #school offered that.”

These days, Destiny finds comfort in reading — sometimes a book a day — and watching her little brother grow up. She’s adjusted her college expectations and knows she can always see a #counselor when she needs to.

Joy Menh, a junior at Humboldt State University, said college has been a particular challenge during the #pandemic. The daughter of immigrants from Liberia, she felt especially isolated during remote learning, trying to balance her studies with work, financial worries and concern about her family contracting #Covid. Then the #police murder of #GeorgeFloyd happened.

“I can discuss it, but it’s very hard for me to see these #Black deaths continue happening,” she said. “There’s so much craziness, it’s hard for me to focus.”

She found the Humboldt counseling office helpful, although she thinks that colleges should remove some of the hurdles – such as long delays to see a #counselor – for #students who need help, especially those experiencing a crisis. She’s also found solace in helping other #Black #students at her #school, where she works at the campus multicultural center.

“I try to surround myself with friends and do things that keep me hopeful, like focusing on #school and planning for the future,” Menh said, noting that she hopes to go to law #school eventually.

The East Oakland #Youth Development Center has been tending to the #mentalhealth of #Black #youth for more than 40 years. But the #pandemic has ushered in unprecedented challenges, said Executive Director Regina Jackson. For more than a year, #students were unable to connect with friends, and many were stuck at home under crowded, stressful circumstances. To cope, some #students withdrew emotionally, while others acted out.

“Let’s face it, this #pandemic has impacted us acutely, especially those of us who are impoverished,” Jackson said.

To help, the center has been doing what it has always done: It offers a safe place for #students to talk, do art projects, play outside, study and relax. During the worst months of the #pandemic, when the center closed, Jackson and her staff sent art supplies and books to children’s homes, organized online parties and encouraged them to talk about the #stress they were experiencing.

“We treat our young people like they’re the subject of their own stories. We allow them to express themselves freely,” Jackson said. “It’s about trust, empowerment, curiosity. … That will walk you back from giving up. … When it’s working, we can see the smiles through the masks.”

One of Jackson’s #students, Myah White, said that seeking help can sometimes feel difficult because of the #stigma associated with #mentalillness. Myah said that can add another layer to young people’s feelings of #isolation.

“#Depression and #anxiety are things you don’t always talk about in the #Blackcommunity,” said White, a senior at St. Joseph High #School in Alameda. “Our #parents are dealing with their own #trauma. You just want to be ‘normal.’ With so many hardships, we want to be known for perseverance and strength.”

White found relief by getting involved in equity and diversity issues at her #school, which allowed her to talk about the complicated and frustrating emotions she was experiencing and educate her non-#Black peers on issues related to #racism. The past two years have inspired her to change her career plans, to become a pediatrician serving #Black and low-income communities.

Clay, from Cal State Los Angeles, said that one way to reduce #stigma is to normalize conversations about #mentalhealth at #school. #Schools should encourage #Black #students to talk about their feelings in a way that’s empowering, so they feel less alone and more confident describing the conditions that are causing them #stress. #Schools should also hire more #Black #counselors, whom #Black #students are more likely to trust and feel comfortable confiding in.

Like White, Selina Villesanor, a junior at Oakland High #School, also altered her plans due to her hardships during the #pandemic. In March 2020, a close uncle died of #Covid, and Villasanor sank into a #depression. She felt like her “world was falling apart” and had nowhere to go for help.

Introspection and counseling helped her pull through.

“The #pandemic sparked a spiritual journey for me. It showed me who I am, my strengths and weaknesses,” she said. She now uses that knowledge to help her friends, supporting those who need help. She’s also thrown herself into a new hobby — baking. “I used to sulk. Now I whip up some cookies and cupcakes that I know everyone will love. Cooking helped me to cope.”

Villasanor hopes to study psychology and become a #therapist for young people. And someday start her own cooking business.

Leroy Mitchell, a #mentalhealth training manager at the #Black Emotional and #MentalHealth Collective in Los Angeles, said #Black young people grappled with #anxiety and #depression long before the #pandemic and Floyd’s murder. But recent events have shed light on their plight.

In #schools, he said, the most important thing #teachers and other #adults on campus can do is listen. If #students don’t open up, #adults should try different approaches, such as asking them to play a song that expresses their feelings, or do some artwork, or show #TikTok videos that reflect their emotions.

“We have to acknowledge the ways our #Black #youth are experiencing #mentalhealthchallenges,” Mitchell said. “But it’s not just listening. We have to put into action the things they’re saying and hold ourselves accountable.”

As bleak as life seems now, Mitchell is confident that this generation will endure and even thrive.

“We are in a crisis. But I have a strong belief in #Black #youth,” he said. “We come from a legacy of surviving. We come from a legacy of healing. We just need to make room for them to practice their brilliance. … #Black #youth just simply ‘being’ is the most beautiful thing I can think of.”

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Psychiatric Interviews for Teaching: #Depression

– Hello, Alison Wells, do you want to come and have a seat? Hi I’m Dr Taylor one of the GP’s at this surgery, what would you like me to call you? – Alison will be fine – Ok, so what’s brought you here today Alison? – My sister’s noticed, I’m just a bit fed up really. My sister said I should come. – Right ok. Has this been going on for some time? – Yeah, few months really. – Ok, do you want to tell me a bit more about what’s been going on? – Just things, things seem to be piling up. – Right – I just don’t seem to be coping with things, – Right – the kids and things. – Right, ok. Would it be OK Alison for me to ask you a few more detailed questions about how you’ve been feeling? – Uhuh – Ok Well if we start with asking you a bit about your mood.

How have you been feeling in yourself? – I say a bit fed up. I get up in the morning, everything seems very black. – Right – It’s like, it’s just like swimming in, in treacle really and I just don’t, I think by tea time when the #kids get home, I’ve been having fairly decent conversation with them but… – Right, and can I just check Alison when you say things feel very black, do you feel very miserable? – Fed up, miserable.

– Right, OK. And what about sort of feeling tearful? Has that been happening? – I dropped some sugar the other day and I just burst into tears. – Right, OK. – Thanks – So is it the slightest thing that will make you tearful, things that perhaps wouldn’t ordinarily bother you? – Yeah my sister’s noticed it as well. – Right, OK. So you’ve been feeling very low with episodes of tearfulness, what about other things, your energy levels are you managing to keep up with things? – I used to do a lot with the #kids I used to go swimming, playing but now I just spend the day on the sofa unless I have to go to work. – Right, just remind me, what is it you do for your job? – I work in a supermarket. – Right, so how have you been managing at work? – I’ve not been going in as much cause I just feel so exhausted… …but I’m just not…the supermarket’s been taken over and they’ve cut the wages – Right – and I’ve had problems with the bills – Right – and it’s like catalogues just writing me letters, – Uhuh – you know the #kids they want all these new games and stuff – Yeah sure – and it’s just y’know.

– Things are difficult all round then. With all this going on how are you sleeping Alison? – It just takes me ages to go to sleep, I used to read a book – Right – and just drop off, – Right – but now I just spend my time looking at the clock as it goes round and round. – So from actually getting off to bed and getting off to sleep how long is that taking? – Couple of hours probably. – Right, OK. – Once you’re asleep are you waking up much during the night? – I wake up about…last night I think it was about 4 o clock I woke up.

– Right – And can you get back to sleep from that time? – No, no. – And then you’re actually getting out of bed in the morning, are you still feeling tired at that point? – I’m just exhausted, I feel like my brain’s not been switched off. I’m just exhausted the next day. – OK – What about eating what’s your appetite been like while you’ve been feeling like this? – I used to have quite a weight problem, but the last couple of months this is a bit looser. – Right – Er, I just… – Do you know how much weight you’ve lost? – No, no.

– The kids come in from #school and they make their own stuff and I just don’t bother really. – Ok, Ok so you’re appetite’s gone down as well. What about things like concentrating and your memory both when you’re watching TV at home or when you’re out doing your job. – How have those things been? – Well I mean pretty useless with the #kids, I forgot the swimming money last week, PE kit and #parents evening even. – Right, ok. – I just start one job, and, I’m not explaining myself very well. It’s like the television, I used to like watching the soaps, EastEnders or something and now 10 minutes later I’m thinking of something else. – Ok, ok. – And what about things Alison you used to enjoy, are there things in life that you still enjoy at the moment? – Nothing really, as I say, a bit useless with the #kids. I used to enjoy going out, I used to go out with my friends, the pictures and things, but of course now I can’t be bothered. – Is it that you can’t be bothered and you don’t feel like it as well? – What’s the point really? – Right, ok.

– You know. – And I was going to ask, how old are your #children now? – I had them a bit later in life, it’s took a a long time to have them. I got a #girl and a #boy, one’s 11 and one’s 9. – And looking after #children takes a lot of time and energy, how are you managing to keep up with that feeling as low as you do? – Well they’re a bit self-sufficient really the #kids, they come in from school get their own tea. I should be doing more for them really but I’m not I’m just a bit useless at that at the moment. – Ok, and what about looking after yourself? – Well you can see I’m just a mess.

Dave used to say, that’s my boyfriend, – Right – he used to, you know, not have much money but I’d take a bit of pride in what I was doing. My hair and stuff but I can’t can’t be bothered with that now, there’s no point really. – Ok, ok. – And you mentioned Dave, that’s your current partner, how long have you and Dave been together? About a year I met him at work. – And how are things, because often when people feel really down it has an impact on everything including their relationships so how are things with you and Dave at the moment? He’s not ringing as much, he used to text, he’s getting fed up with me not wanting to go out and things.

– It’s a slightly embarrassing thing to ask about but I guess it’s important, often when people are really feeling very low it affects everything in the relationship including things like their sex life. Have you noticed any changes there for you? He’s always trying to pressure me a little bit – Right – and stuff, but I’m really not into that at the moment. – Right, ok. You just don’t feel like that at the moment. – No. – Ok. So can I just a recap Alison to check I’ve got this right, for the last few months you’ve been feeling really down, no energy, problems with your sleeping and eating, problems with concentrating, not really enjoying things and actually struggling a bit with the #kids and perhaps some difficulties in your relationship with Dave. Have I got that right? – Hmmmm.

– OK. Can I ask Alison, in the past have there ever been episodes where you’ve felt like this? – When my husband left, I was always crying then for no particular reason. – Right – I haven’t told anybody this before but I took some tablets. – Right So how long ago are we talking was this a few years ago? – About four years ago. – About four years ago. Ok, so you took some tablets, – Yeah – Can you tell me, is it alright to tell me a little bit more about that? – You know what it’s like, the #kids are in bed and you’re on your own and I had a few glasses of wine and I just took these tablets. – Right, OK. Can you remember what you actually took at the time what sort of tablets they were? – They were just in the bathroom cabinet, it was paracetamol.

– Right, OK. So you took some paracetamol, can you remember roughly how many you took? – About 2 strips, about 12. – Right, OK. – And you’d had a couple of glasses of wine; did you take anything else, any other tablets with it? – No. – Ok. Ok. And was this something Alison that you’d thought about for a while or was it a spur of the moment that evening? – As I say I was crying a lot but I think it was just the wine. – Right, ok. – But you know, I’m just a bit of a burden to everybody really. – And was there any other things that you did around the time, sometimes when people take tablets they leave a note, or do other kinda final acts, get their affairs in order? Did you do any of those things? – No, I just thought, that you know, I’d take the tablets and I’d just go to sleep.

– Right, ok. So did you have any thoughts about what taking the tablets would do? Did you.. – I just thought I’d go to sleep and not wake up, but I woke up a couple of hours later and was sick everywhere. – Right, ok. God I was sick. – Ok, so I actually just want to check I get this right because it’s important. You actually thought that they would kill you at the time? – I just didn’t want to wake up, – Right, ok – As I say, I’m just useless, I’m a useless mum now and I was then.

– Right ok, so you took the tablets and you were very sick in the night did you seek any medical help at the time? – No, no. – Ok. And then were you OK the following day? – Well, yeah, I just felt a bit of a twit really. – Right, did you feel pleased you were still alive? – Yeah, I think you know I realised it was me just being silly.

– Right, Ok, Ok. So that was a few years ago, if we just come back to how you are feeling at the moment, you talked about feeling very low… Have there been times currently when you’ve thought about either taking an overdose or doing something else to harm yourself in any way? – You know at night when, when you’re watching the clock and you know, you’re on your own -Yeah – and the kids are in bed. It is, just everything’s so hard, and yeah I suppose, you know, it just feels easy you know? – Right And has that just been something you’ve thought about or have you actually made any plans, got any tablets in or done anything else? – No, no, – Ok – nothing like that. Ok, and I guess it’s a difficult question to ask but one we would ask everybody in your situation.

Have things ever been so bad you felt so low that you’ve not only thought about harming yourself or perhaps killing yourself but you’ve also wondered whether the best thing might be to take the children with you? -No, I’d never do anything with my #kids I love my kids. No I wouldn’t hurt them. – Ok. – And what about the other side of that, positive things, things to live for… …things that you feel good about? – Not much at the moment I suppose, #kids sometimes you know. They do things that make you think, you know, what’s good about life – Right – and things but… – And are there other things that help at the moment, I’m thinking about people that could be supportive? – My sister as I say she said to get down here and she’s always there, she comes down – Yeah – and rings.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

I’ve got a couple of friends they’re quite good, – Right – but and Dave when he’s in the mood of course. But I don’t think he’s not going to be around for much longer. – Right. And do you think, or do you feel able to keep yourself safe at the moment from hurting yourself? – I think so yeah, I know I can come here now; you’ve been very good today – Ok.

Do you think if that was to change so that you didn’t feel able to keep yourself safe, you’d be able to let anybody know? – All I know is what happened last time that was nothing and I was silly then so I know to come here. – Right, Ok. OK Alison, well thanks for going through all that, I can appreciate it must be very painful. It does sound to me that you are suffering from symptoms that strongly suggest that you are actually depressed at the moment. Now I’m not sure how much you know about #depression? – Not much really, not much but I know I just don’t feel right at the moment. – Ok, ok Well I guess just briefly #depression can cause a number of problems for people and traditionally we think about people feeling very low and very miserable and often you know thinking about hurting themselves. But it can also affect all other areas of life in terms of problems with eating and sleeping and the other problems you’ve noticed is that concentration and perhaps not really managing as well as normal.

I guess the positive side is that you’ve done something about it and you’ve come to talk to me about it today and I think there are almost certainly a range of things we can put in place to help you and treatments that are available. So I guess what I’m thinking is it might be worth us spending a few minutes just thinking about those options for you so that we can start to improve things for you. Would that be alright with you? – I need to do this, yes; I think that’s sensible yeah.

– Ok

.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Celebs Rally Around #ReginaKing After Star Loses Son To #Suicide

By Jessica Bennett

Regina King and son Ian Alexander Jr.

Celeb pals are consoling #ReginaKing as she grieves the death of her only son, Ian Alexander Jr.

#ReginaKing is grieving the loss of her only son, Ian Alexander Jr. who died by #suicide Friday night, she’s confirmed.

The Oscar-winner has been met with condolences from both fans and her Hollywood peers in the wake of the tragic news.

Actress and director Rosanna Arquette tweeted her condolences, writing, “Sending love light and prayers to Regina king and her family.”

“Sending love, light and the armor of God to @ReginaKing,” “Atlantic” writer Jemele Hill tweeted early Saturday morning. “May her and her loved ones find comfort and peace.”

Comedian D.L. Hughley also offered his condolences, tweeting, “so very sorry!!! Prayers Prayers Prayers!!!!!!

Journalist Mark Lamont Hill added, “Sending all of my love and condolences to #ReginaKing. I pray that she’s surrounded by love and healing energy.”

Musician Kid Cudi also tweeted well wishes, writing, “My heart hurts for #ReginaKing and her family. God please watch over them.”

“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” a statement from King confirming her son’s passing reads. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”

Ian Alexander’s 26th birthday was on Wednesday. He was King’s only #child with her record producer ex-husband, Ian Alexander Sr.

If you are struggling with #suicidalthoughts or are experiencing a #mentalhealthcrisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 #NationalSuicidePreventionhotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Leave a comment

#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Understanding #MentalIllness #Triggers

By Katherine Ponte, JD, MBA, CPRP

person clutching head with hands

trigger, sometimes referred to as a stressor, is an action or situation that can lead to an adverse emotional reaction. In the context of #mentalillness, referring to triggers usually means something that has brought on or worsened symptoms.

In the ongoing dialogue about #mentalhealth, we don’t talk enough about triggers. Most often, the discussion focuses on what happens after a person has been triggered, which is when the situation is much harder to address. Understanding, identifying and working to prevent triggers can be more empowering and effective.

Understanding #Triggers

Triggers are individualized experiences that vary widely from person-to-person. For example, a trigger may elicit a physical reaction, such as heavy breathing or sweating. A trigger can also spur an emotional reaction, like thinking “I am being attacked, blamed, controlled, disrespected, hurt and judged.” After experiencing a trigger, a person may feel overwhelmed, powerless, scared, unloved and weak, among many other feelings. These feelings can be very difficult to address and quite detrimental to #mentalhealth.

A person’s #behaviors based on their emotional reaction can range from relatively minimal to serious, such as acts of violence. Someone exposed to a trigger while symptomatic may be more vulnerable and the emotional reaction may be stronger. Additionally, a trigger can impair judgment and some people may lack insight about their reactions.

It is important not to assume that you understand the emotional response of someone who has been triggered or suggest that someone who has been triggered is overreacting, being “too sensitive” or being irrational, even if the trigger may seem insignificant.

Types Of Triggers

Many different stimuli can be possible triggers, and they are often strongly influenced by past experiences. Personally, as someone who lives with #mentalillness, I have experienced numerous triggers when I’ve been symptomatic. These triggers have led to extreme discomfort, family conflict, onset of illness, worsening of symptoms, episodes and hospitalizations.

External triggers: In the summer of 2006, I became engrossed watching the inexplicable war and tragic loss of life in the middle east on CNN. This triggered a severe psychotic manic episode. Similar geopolitical events triggered me twice more. Each time I was hospitalized. To prevent this trigger from repeating, I stopped watching televised news.

Internal triggers: I was triggered by feelings of abandonment when my spouse avoided contact with me to minimize conflicts. I would at times spontaneously angrily erupt. To address these feelings, I talked to my spouse and let him know how our strained communications made me feel, and he reassured me that he had no plans to leave me.

#Trauma triggers: I live near the hospital where I experienced a traumatic hospitalization. It was along a convenient route for me to access public transportation, but every time I walked by it, I recalled that hospitalization and was “re-traumatized.” After being triggered several times, I decided no longer to walk past the hospital and took a longer, alternative route.

Symptom triggers: A lack of or reduced need for sleep has occasionally triggered the symptoms of my #bipolardisorder. In this situation, I quickly address any sleep disruption, often with a medication adjustment in consultation with my doctor.

#James Donaldson notes:
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

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Ways To Cope

There are many possible coping strategies. Strategies should seek to eliminate, avoid and reduce the impact of triggers and emotional reactions. Each person must identify what works best for them through trial and error. Different coping strategies may work for different triggers and emotions.

Learn to identify: Consider reactions to past triggers; who or what was involved, where, when and why it took place. Observe patterns and obvious signs of risk to prevent a similar situation (like ceasing to watch televised news).

Make a plan to address: Create a plan to address triggers and emotional reactions. You may want to talk to loved ones or your treatment team to let them know how they can best help you when you are triggered. Be sure to carefully address triggers that occur repeatedly, because each time they do, the emotional reaction may be greater.

Try problem-focused coping: Confront your stressor directly or try to find a solution to the stressor. For example, driving your #kids to #school may cause you to worry, because you’re afraid you might arrive late to work. Instead, you can ask someone else to drive your #kids to #school.

Try emotion-focused coping: When you cannot eliminate or avoid a trigger, focus on regulating your reaction to a stressor which may help reduce the stressor’s impact. For example, meditation can help reduce #stress, #anxiety and #depression.

Communicate if someone is triggering you: A person triggering another person often does so unintentionally. Talk to them about their actions and their impact to clear up any misunderstandings and consider possible solutions. Have an open, calm and understanding dialog. Be willing to work with them. If the person who is triggering you refuses to act sensitively, it may be best to set clear boundaries.

Find the right therapy: Specific types of therapy have been shown effective in addressing triggers. Specific therapies especially helpful for addressing #trauma triggers include exposure therapy and EMDR therapy.

Reality-check your thoughts: To minimize the escalation of thoughts and feelings, it may be helpful to “reality check” thoughts to assess their reasonableness. A few ways to do this include:

  1. Fact checking: Consider the facts and whether they support your interpretation.
  2. Apply cognitive distortions: Identify faulty or inaccurate think, perceptions or beliefs.
  3. Reframe: Reshape automatic negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
  4. Proportionality: Ask yourself, is the reaction disproportionate to the trigger?

Look for trigger warnings: Triggers warnings can help alert you to triggering material, especially materials related to #suicide or violence. Sometimes, an article will provide a trigger warning at the start of the piece. You can even ask others to provide you with a trigger warning about materials they share.

Practice self-care: Prioritizing your #mentalhealthcan help build resilience against potential triggers. You can start by talking to someone, such as a loved one, friend or #therapist. You may also want to practice mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing or journaling.

It’s difficult to control our triggers; however, we can learn from our experiences. We can apply what we learn to manage and limit the risk of being re-triggered. We can’t diminish or dismiss the trigger or only focus on what happens after we’re triggered — we must also focus on what we can do beforehand.

Each time we’re triggered is a learning opportunity that can help us manage our reactions in the future. If we can’t control the trigger fully, we may be able to limit the emotional reaction to it before it becomes problematic and harder to address. We might even be able to prevent the trigger by preparing for it. We can have some control, and anything that gives us a little control over our #mentalillness can help keep us well.

Katherine Ponte is happily living in recovery from severe #bipolardisorder. She’s the Founder of ForLikeMinds’ #mentalillness peer support community, BipolarThriving: Recovery Coaching and Psych Ward Greeting Cards. Katherine is also a faculty member of the Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health and has authored ForLikeMinds: #MentalIllness Recovery Insights.

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