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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – How #Social And #Political Issues Affect The #MentalHealth Of #LGBTQ #Youth

Two teens watch a video on a smartphone.
Ongoing exposure to hostile rhetoric about #political and #socialissues can greatly impact the #mentalhealth and well-being of #LGBTQ+ young people.
  • New research from The #TrevorProject found that #social and #political issues can greatly impact the #mentalhealth and overall well-being of #LGBTQ #youth.
  • #Racism, #homophobia, school safety, gun violence, and policies targeting the rights of #LGBTQ people were all named as distressing concerns for #LGBTQ #youth.
  • Ongoing exposure to hostile rhetoric can lead an #LGBTQ young person to experience #anxiety, a lack of concentration, #depression, and #suicidalideation.

In our current 24/7, information-driven age, it can be hard to escape upsetting — oftentimes triggering — news on the social and political issues that impact our daily lives.

This is especially true for #LGBTQ+ young people in the #UnitedStates.

This week, The #TrevorProject released new data that outline just how much the larger social and political currents coursing through society today — from proposed discriminatory anti-trans legislation to the effects of #racism to concerns over #school safety and gun violence — are greatly affecting the #mentalhealth and overall well-being of #LGBTQ #youth.

Casey Pick, JD, senior fellow for Advocacy and Government Affairs at The #TrevorProject, told Healthline that she can’t say it’s surprising to see how things like the current “onslaught of anti-#LGBTQ legislation” can affect an #LGBTQ young person’s #mentalhealth.

But she said it is helpful to have data like this to quantify how it’s impacting #youth across the country.

By seeing this data and hearing from these young people themselves, it can offer a window into how best to serve #LGBTQ+ #youth and what more needs to be done in our society at large.

What the data show

For the new survey, The #TrevorProject used data from a poll conducted by Morning Consult from September 14, 2021 to November 5, 2021. They reached out to 820 #LGBTQ+ young people, ages 13 to 24.

Breaking the survey population down further, this included 318 #transgender and #nonbinary #youth and 340 #LGBTQ #YouthofColor. Out of the young #PeopleofColor, 56 percent were #Black.

Among the findings, 85 percent of the #transgender and #nonbinary young people surveyed reported that the recent national debates around proposed state laws that target the rights of #transgender people have “negatively impacted their #mentalhealth,” according to a press release from The #TrevorProject.

Additionally, 66 percent of all #LGBTQ+ #youth surveyed also reported that news of this anti-trans legislation had a negative impact on their overall #mentalhealth.

Zeroing in further, discussions around policies that attempt to ban #transgender #girls and #boys from playing in #girls’ and #boys’ sports teams, respectively, made 74 percent of #transgender and #nonbinary youth “feel angry,” while 57 percent said they felt sad, 43 percent felt stressed, and almost 1 in every 3 reported feeling scared.

Along with this, proposed legislation in which #doctors would be banned from prescribing gender-affirming medical care such as puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy to nonbinary and trans youth, led 73 percent of #transgender and #nonbinary #youth to feel angry, 57 percent to feel sad, 47 percent to feel stressed, 40 percent to feel scared, and more than 1 in 3 to feel “hopeless, helpless, and/or nervous.”

The survey also asked an open-ended question: “What #socialissue impacting our country/world is most important to you?”

The result?

Most #youth surveyed — across #race, #ethnicity, and #genderidentity — declared #racism was at the top of their list. This was followed by #LGBTQ rights and equality, climate change, and #homophobia.

When it came to devising a list of issues that could determine sources of #stress and #anxiety for these young people, 58 percent cited anti-#LGBTQ hate crimes, and 56 percent named #homophobia as having given them #stress and #anxiety “very often.”

After this, it was not having enough money at 50 percent and #racism at 49 percent.

The #TrevorProject reports that more than 65 percent of #LGBTQ #youth reported that #police brutality, #transphobia, #gunviolence, climate change, and “efforts to restrict abortion access” were also regular sources of #anxiety and #stress.

“I have to say I appreciate the extent to which #LGBTQ young people also call out #racism as a major concern and something that is affecting them. That is something we need to take into account as we make policy,” Pick said.

She added that The #TrevorProject’s digital and lifeline crisis services teams regularly report that #LGBTQ youth in the #UnitedStates are often citing fears and concerns over the current wave of proposed legislation and policies that directly target them.

“They are afraid and concerned and upset when they hear that access to best practice medical care may be threatened, or that they may be forced off their sports team that has been their place of finding a sense of belonging and acceptance and, honestly, fun in a really challenging time,” Pick explained.

“So, we hear about these concerns from #youthincrisis, and we also see it here in our research and our polling,” Pick said.

Intersectional concerns

The #COVID-19 #pandemic also dovetailed with a lot of the #stress and #anxiety felt by these young people.

About 63 percent of them reported “feeling scared about the future,” while 46 percent said they had #anxiety around in-person learning. Also, 50 percent and 40 percent reported being stressed and nervous, respectively, about the 2021–2022 #school year.

About 53 percent of #trans and #nonbinary young people reported having difficulty accessing #mentalhealthcare compared to 28 percent of their #cisgender #LGBTQ peers.

Economic insecurity also plays a big role, with more than 1 in 3 #LGBTQ #youth respondents saying they struggled to afford “things they need.”

When it came to concerns over #racism, #Black #LGBTQ+ #youth were more likely to report #racism as the most pressing issue impacting them, compared to white #LGBTQ+ #youth who cited #racism and #LGBTQ rights as almost equally affecting them as the most important issue right now.

Four in 5 #transgender and #nonbinary #youth said that anti-#LGBTQ hate crimes, #homophobia, #transphobia, #police brutality, and #racism gave them #stress and #anxiety. This was much higher than for their #cisgender #LGBTQ peers.

For #Black #LGBTQ+ #youth, 16 percent said #racism, 15 percent said #police brutality, and 9 percent named gun violence as “very often” being the source of their #stress and #anxiety.

When it came to their white #LGBTQ+ peers, 13 percent named #transphobia, 11 percent said anti-#LGBTQ hate crimes, and 10 percent cited current efforts to restrict abortion access as issues leading to comparable amounts of #stress and #anxiety.

“This poll shows clearly that intersectional concerns are real, that our #youth who reported being #LGBTQ and also #PeopleofColor called out more intensely different concerns. Some of them were more concerned expressly about issues of #racism, access to food, housing, contending with poverty,” Pick said.

“Similarly, if we look at #transgender and #nonbinary #youth within the survey, they were disproportionately reporting by like 53 percent having a hard time getting access to #mentalhealthcare when they wanted it as opposed to #cisgender #bisexual, #lesbian, #gay peers who, at 28 percent, said they had a hard time getting access to that care. Still, that is far too high, but there is a disparity there,” she added.

She also pointed out that these negative effects are “broad and sweeping” and that “you really do need to look closely to see nuance.”

The realities of this current era

Of course, with the constant #socialmedia updates, divisive — often vitriolic — cable TV debates, and a toxic, turbocharged political environment that we’re all currently living in, it can be hard to escape the news of the day.

For #LGBTQ+ young people, especially those who are part of particularly vulnerable communities, whose very identities — even existences — are flattened to just political talking points, it can be hard to escape the effects of this national discourse.

How does one manage their #mental and overall health and well-being in this kind of environment?

Dr. Matthew Hirschtritt, MPH, a #psychiatrist and researcher at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, said the #mentalhealth effects of this overwhelming cascade of negative and triggering information can manifest themselves in a number of ways.

For an #LGBTQ+ young person processing this information, they might experience #anxiety, or a lack of concentration, #depression, and #suicidalideation.

When you step away and look at the larger picture beyond an individual’s experience, the environment of that anti-trans legislation, for instance, can make it hard for a young person to feel comfortable going about their day.

Using the example of legislation targeting #transgender people, Hirschtritt told Healthline that the proposed laws themselves, and the negative cultural, political, and media environment that they create, can make it so that a young trans or #nonbinary person might no longer feel safe or supported in a #school environment or their community at large.

They might be bullied in #school or not receive the services they need due to discrimination in medical settings, for instance.

Essentially, these big social and political issues can affect people on the individual level, but also make for an inhospitable environment where a young person might not know where to turn for support and safety.

How to help #LGBTQ+ #youth manage this #stress and #anxiety

When asked what a young person can do to deal with all of this, Hirschtritt said that one helpful avenue is turning to a supportive #adult, guardian, or mentor in their lives.

It doesn’t even have to be a #parent — just someone who “really validates a supportive environment in which the #youth is positively regarded and is being really protected against some of the negative messaging that they are hearing about in the community,” Hirschtritt said.

Pick echoed those thoughts, and in fact, research bears it out.

“#Parents, #school #teachers, mentors — they can all play a tremendously important role in benefiting the health and well-being of #LGBTQ young people. At the #TrevorProject, we have research that tells us one supportive #adult can reduce an #LGBTQ young person’s likelihood of attempting #suicide by up to 40 percent,” she explained.

“We also have research that demonstrates the importance of having welcoming and affirming environments, places that make a young person feel accepted and embraced for who they are,” she said.

Pick added that a #school could be that environment, but it’s up to the administrators and educators to facilitate that.

Having policies in place that can make a young person feel affirmed and safe are crucial. Pick said just the simple act of respecting a #trans or #nonbinary person’s pronouns in a classroom or “just expressing support and welcome to an #LGBTQ young person goes a long way to reducing suicidality and improving overall #mentalhealth.”

Hirschtritt, who was not affiliated with The #TrevorProject’s survey, said that access to #mentalhealthcare that’s supportive and validates one’s #sexualorientation or gender identity is key, as well as being in an environment with supportive peers.

He said support groups are venues that can be particularly helpful, and while the #pandemic has moved a lot of that online, digital connections with like-minded peers who might be going through similar life experiences can be crucial.

One big suggestion both Pick and Hirschtritt recommended was to unplug a bit. It might not always be helpful to be glued to comment threads below news articles about anti-trans legislation, for instance.

“Some of the chatter that goes on there can be discriminatory and stigmatizing. Try avoiding those unmoderated comments because they can oftentimes be triggering,” he added.

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Ahead of the 2020 presidential elections, The #TrevorProject released this guide to help young people cope with some of the intense discussions and emotions that the particularly charged political environment was bringing to the fray.

Pick said that some of the advice they included was that “sometimes you just need to turn off #socialmedia” and “it’s okay to not feel like you have to be on the cutting edge of every last story that is about #LGBTQ young people.”

“Just giving yourself permission to not have to be confronted by all of this political vitriol, particularly just the piles of misinformation and #stigma and stereotypes that we are hearing about, is helpful,” she said.

“I am a professional advocate, I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years and when I hear some of these committee hearings about these bills, with hours of testimony, it even hurts me to listen to it, so it is not surprising that when our young people are paying attention to the political process that is debating their lives and rights, they are upset about it,” she added.

Hirschtritt said that getting involved in activism and advocacy work could be a way for some #LGBTQ+ young people to feel more empowered during this time, but on the flip side, a young person shouldn’t have to “feel the burden” of adding that kind of pressure to their plate.

“For a lot of #youth in #ruralareas, for instance, they may receive really negative or disparaging comments about their #sexualorientation or gender identity on a regular basis, and being able to plan ahead for educational or #financial independence might be important,” he added.

“They might need to develop different life skills than some of their peers,” he said. “A lot of #LGBTQ #youth are forced out of their homes when they are relatively young, they may need a lot of these more #adult skills sooner than non-#LGBTQ #youth in order to survive on their own.”

Hirschtritt said that a lot of non-#LGBTQ #youth “might take for granted that their core identity is validated in media, at home, in #school, outside in the community.” However, that isn’t the case for many #LGBTQ+ young people.

He pointed to the disparities by #race and #ethnicity and how young #PeopleofColor might be on the receiving end of more, different stressors and antagonisms than many of their white peers. The same goes for #trans and #nonbinary #youth compared to their #LGBTQ #cisgender peers.

It’s important to keep in mind the “multiple sources of discrimination a young person faces already on top of their #LGBTQ identity,” he added.

Pick said The #TrevorProject’s new survey is an “ever-present reminder” of the resilience of #LGBTQ+ young people.

“These youth are finding ways to turn off the faucet of hostile rhetoric that is directed against them and focus on ways to find joy and community,” she said. “That is something that is admirable and impressive.”

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com
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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – How To Recognize The Warning Signs Of #Suicide: Be Prepared To Help By Knowing These 5 Things

by: Ian Bartlett

(Good Things Utah) – There may be times in your life or the life of your loved ones where there is a struggle to find ways to manage a difficult emotional situation or life stressor. The Utah Crisis Line, in association with the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline, is here to provide compassionate support during difficult times and refer anyone in need of #mentalhealthservices.

There is an ever-increasing need for #mentalhealthtreatment in Utah, especially for #youth. Close to one in five Utah #adults experience poor #mentalhealth and demand for #youth services is increasing rapidly. It’s more important than ever to be able to recognize the warning signs of #suicide to identify possible risk factors.

Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for #suicide, especially if the #behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline.

Warning signs of #suicide

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of #alcohol or #drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

Risk factors for #suicide

  • #Mentaldisorders, particularly mood disorders, #schizophrenia, #anxietydisorders, and certain #personalitydisorders
  • #Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • #Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses, chronic pain
  • Previous #suicideattempt(s)
  • Family history of #suicide
  • Job or #financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s)
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of #suicide

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

How you can help prevent #suicide

If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time,  you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. Here are 5 things that you should do if someone is showing warning signs of #suicide:

1. Open up a dialogue. 

Ask specifically and directly about #mentalhealth and #suicide. Ask about feelings in an attentive and nonjudgmental way, e.g. “what’s causing you to feel so bad?” “what would help you feel better?”

Talking about #suicide does not increase the risk of #suicide or the risk that someone will act on their thoughts of #suicide.

2. Provide options for communication. 

Face-to-face conversations can be uncomfortable. Texting, email, and instant messaging can be very helpful ways for #teens to feel more comfortable talking about uncomfortable things, such as #suicide.

This can also include suggesting options for alternative #adults that they might feel more comfortable talking with. This might be another relative, #coach, #teacher, or #counselor.

3. Remain calm

It’s understandably difficult to hear that your #child might be having #suicidalthoughts, but they are looking to you for help, support, and guidance in how to navigate this. Becoming visibly panicked or frightened can communicate the wrong message to #teens.

This could possibly lead them to feel that they have caused you to become upset, that they need to take it upon themselves to figure out their problems, or even that they need to help comfort you.

4. Work together

Ask how you can help. If they aren’t sure, you can make some suggestions about seeking therapy or obtaining other resources such as SafeUT. They might even just want someone present with them.

5. Alleviate #isolation

Sometimes a reaction to learning about #suicidalthoughts is to take away potential resources such as technology. In many cases, technology can be a lifeline—especially when considering outlets such as SafeUT. Connection to others, in general, is very important at this time, and #parents can play a helpful role in facilitating more connections with friends and family.

Call the Utah Crisis Line at HMHI in partnership with the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-273-8255 or download the SafeUT app for additional resources.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #SuicideAttempts Send Increasing Numbers Of #Teen #Girls To Emergency Rooms

by Tyler Job

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — #Suicidalthoughts affect people of all ages.

But #teen #girls seem to be feeling the most impact right now, health workers say.

“During the #adolescence, they are at the peak for #suicidalthoughts,” said Angela Barnes, an #adolescent #therapist at Gundersen Health System.

Emergency room visits have risen for #teen #girls who have attempted to take their own lives — or considered doing so — during the #pandemic, Barnes said.

Changes in family and #school, as well as #socialmedia, are contributing factors, she said.

“#Females have for a very long time engaged in self-harm more frequently and more often than #males,” Barnes said.

The trend at Gundersen mirrors what’s happening on state and national levels.

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Last winter, 50 percent more #girls ages 12 through 17 were admitted to emergency rooms for #suicideattempts compared with winter of 2019, according to the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention, .

A report from the Wisconsin Office of Children’s #MentalHealth also shows a similar trend.

But director Linda Hall says the #pandemic could have some silver linings for these teens.

“Their #behaviors that are indicating a #suiciderisk are being noticed,” Hall said. “We’re hopeful they’re getting help before anything more serious would happen.”

One way to get #teens help is by putting them in touch with more #adult support, she said.

“When #kids feel connected, they feel like they belong,” Hall said.

That’s why there are resources such as Great Rivers 2-1-1, where staff are available around the clock.

“It’s always safe for people to call here, no matter what,” line supervisor Amy Kuester said.

The service offers advice to people, especially young #girls, that it’s OK to seek help whenever they need it.

Calls to 2-1-1 relating to #mentalhealth and addiction are up 14 percent since the #pandemic began, Kuester said.

Local health-care provider and #school #counselors are good resources, Barnes said.

#Mentalhealthresources include:

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Tune In and Listen, Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 10AM(PST) to Standing Above The Crowd with James Donaldson with Special Guest this week is Former NBA Player and 3x NBA World Champion Bill Cartwright

Join James Donaldson on Standing Above the Crowd sports talk radio show

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 10am (PST)

Special Guest this week is Former NBA Player and 3x NBA World Champion Bill Cartwright

Jack Sikma

Listen to the show live at 347-205-9631

or

Call in and submit your questions to the live show at 347-205-9631

 

Bill Cartwright brief information

Career highlights and awards
As player: 3× NBA champion (19911993)NBA All-Star (1980)NBA All-Rookie First Team (1980)2× Consensus second-team All-American (19771979)3× WCAC Player of the Year (1977–1979)3× First-team All-WCAC (1977–1979)Second-team All-WCAC (1976)No. 24 retired by San Francisco DonsMr. Basketball USA (1975)First-team Parade All-American (1975)Third-team Parade All-American (1974)2× California Mr. Basketball (1974, 1975) As assistant coach: 2× NBA champion (19971998)
Career statistics
Points12,713 (13.2 ppg)
Rebounds6,106 (6.3 rpg)
Assists1,390 (1.4 apg)
Stats  at NBA.com
Stats  at Basketball-Reference.com

James William Cartwright (born July 30, 1957) is an American former professional basketball player and a former head coach of the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A 7’1″ (2.16 m) center, he played 16 seasons for the New York KnicksChicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics, helping the Bulls capture consecutive championships in the 19911992 and 1993 seasons. He attended Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California, and played college basketball at the University of San Francisco.

High school and college career[edit]

In high school, Cartwright played basketball for the Elk Grove Thundering Herd under coach Dan Risley.

In 1974 and 1975, he was named California High School State Basketball Player of the Year. In 1975, he was named California High School Sports Athlete of the Year.

On March 6–8, 1975, Cartwright’s Elk Grove High School team won the 29th Annual Tournament Of Champions in Oakland (predecessor of the California Interscholastic Federation State Basketball Championship).

As a prep star, Cartwright was just as highly regarded as fellow preps Darryl Dawkins and Bill Willoughby.[1]

Cartwright played college ball at the University of San Francisco and was a consensus second-team all-American in 1977 and 1979. During his time at USF, Cartwright played on one of the tallest starting lineups in collegiate history. He graduated as the all-time leading scorer for the Dons, averaging 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Cartwright led San Francisco to three trips to the NCAA tournament, to the first round in the 1977 and to the Sweet Sixteen in both 1978 and 1979[3]

Listen to the show live at 347-205-9631

or

Call in and submit your questions to the live show at 347-205-9631

James Donaldson has complied quite a list of accomplishments over the years. Washington State University graduate ’79, Small business owner for 28 years, 40 years involved in his community with youth programs, education, mentoring, women and minority business advocate, political candidate and a 20 year professional basketball, including 14 years in the NBA with an All Star appearance in 1988!   Currently, James is an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention as he is the Executive Director of his own non profit 5013c foundation Your Gift of Life Foundation     Now join James Donaldson as he hosts his own sports radio talk show with a variety of intriguing, inspiring and interesting guest each and every week.   Every Saturday at 10am (PST)
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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Program Focuses On #Officers’ #MentalHealth

Mental Health

Shamokin Dam Police Chief Timothy Bremigen is happy that his #officers will have a chance to go through #mentalhealthtraining through the Police Peer Support Program.

  • Robert Inglis/The Daily Item

Mental Health

Robert Inglis/The Daily Item Scott Rood, a Mount Pleasant Mills resident and a East Pennsboro #police sergeant who has served as a peer for 12 years, talks with Snyder County emergency personnel about the #Police Peer Support Program.

Govan Martin, a retired state #policeofficer and consultant at Access, talks with Snyder County #emergencyresponders about the #Police Peer Support Program.

Chrystal McCorkel, program manager at Access Employee Assistance Program, talks about the #Police Peer Support Program.

When a lone gunman shot 10 young girls, killing five, inside an Amish one-room schoolhouse in Lancaster County on Oct. 2, 2006, before killing himself, a group of trained #police peers was ready to help their colleagues who responded to the traumatic scene.

“Every trooper that responded to that scene was contacted and we’ve followed up with them on anniversaries,” said Govan Martin, a retired state #policeofficer who has been working with Access Employee Assistance Program providing peer support to #officers for several years.

The #NationalAllianceonMentalHealth reported that one in four #policeofficers had #suicidalthoughts in 2019 and more #officers die by #suicide than on the job. The fear among many #officers, according to the #American #PoliceOfficers Alliance, is that they will not be able to perform their work duties if they are deemed mentally unhealthy.

Raising awareness of the #mentalhealth of #policeofficers has been an increasing issue nationwide in recent years, but the #Police Peer Support Program has been assisting Harrisburg-area law enforcement and their relatives for more than 25 years, providing an understanding and compassionate ear or a professional referral to help them cope with job and family stresses, substance dependency, burnout and other #mentalhealthissues.

Now the program is available to #firstresponders in Snyder and Union counties.

At the suggestion of Shamokin Dam #Police Chief Timothy Bremigen, Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch began looking for peer support services to help Valley officers work through issues ranging from #divorce to #alcoholism to #depression.

He found grants were available through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and applied.

Late last year, Snyder County was among 65 recipients nationwide that received a portion of $7 million in grants. The two-year, $109,000 grant awarded to the county was only one of two in Pennsylvania, along with the city of Philadelphia.

“I hope the program saves lives,” said Bremigen, a 27-year career #officer.

Scott Rood, an East Pennsboro Township #Police sergeant, has served as a peer in the Harrisburg area for 12 years and said he’s witnessed the program’s effectiveness in keeping #officers connected, healthy and on the job.

“Most cops only live about five years past retirement due to the #stress,” he said, adding that stresses facing law enforcement also affect spouses and #children.

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

The peer program is designed to address those issues by providing assistance to the entire family. Rood said there’s been an increased understanding about #mentalhealth, not only of offenders, but the #firstresponders who handle emergencies often involving them.

“In the past, we’ve had a lot of #officers who did destructive things that ended their careers,” said Rood, a Mount Pleasant Mills resident. “Twenty years ago it was normal after your shift to go to the bar. Now, it’s more normal to talk about the crash you went to where a #kid has died.”

He recalled one incident involving an EMT responding to a report of a man who had injured his arm. The injury was much more gruesome and serious than expected, Rood said, and about a week later the EMT required medical assistance due to suicidal thoughts stemming from the incident.

Had the program been available to that #firstresponder, he said, the need for medical intervention may have been avoided.

By providing a confidential service where law enforcement can talk about the issues they face, the work or home-life stresses that burden them or get referrals for professional help, Rood said, many are able to address problems before they spiral out of control.

He and 10 other peers from eight participating departments in the Harrisburg area had 392 contacts with #officers and their families in the past six months.

An October 2020 survey study of 434 #policeofficers working in major U.S. cities by JAMA Network Open, a monthly medical journal published by the #AmericanMedicalAssociation, found that 12 percent had a lifetime #mentalhealthdiagnosis and 26 percent reported current symptoms of #mentalillness. Only 17 percent had sought #mentalhealthcareservices in the past year, but #officers said they would be more likely to get help with assurances of confidentiality.

#Rural #officers face similar difficulties, Rood said, because they are often more isolated and working shifts on their own.

“When I show up on a call, there are usually three to four other guys on the same call,” he said. “Here, in a small community, it’s usually just” one #officer.

That’s why it’s important to have an opportunity to speak confidentially with someone who has a similar work background and experience, Rood said.

“The biggest barrier is finding people they trust and know it won’t hurt their career,” said Piecuch on why he favors the peer program offered through Access which provides trained peers from in and outside a department’s jurisdiction. “They can speak with a peer they know or a peer they don’t know.”

Alec Persun, a Central Susquehanna Regional 911 Center dispatcher, is interested in training to be a peer.

“#Mentalhealth has become a big issue, especially during #COVID,” he said. “During eight hours in the 911 Center you hear a lot of crazy calls and you can’t always leave it at work. I think it will be useful to have people who have done the job to be available.”

Piecuch said he’d like to eventually expand the program to include peer training for fire and EMS #firstresponders in the Valley.

Photo by Daria Sannikova on Pexels.com
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  #JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #MARTA #CEO #JeffreyParker Dies By #Suicide

  • By Elizabeth Nouryeh-Clay

0123_MNS_State_of_MARTA_003 Jeff Parker

MARTA CEO and GM Jeff Parker.

050119_MNS_Rotary_Parker Jeff Parker

#MARTA General Manager and #CEO #JeffParker addresses the #Rotary Club of Buckhead.

#MARTA #CEO #JeffreyParker and Congressman Hank Johnson.

#MARTA general manager and #CEO #JeffreyParker has died by #suicide, #MARTA announced.

#MARTA released a statement saying Parker, 55, died by #suicide late Jan. 14. The company asks the public to keep the Parker family in their prayers.

“As we struggle to understand the complexity of this tragedy, we grieve with and for his wife Erin, his daughters and all of Jeff’s family and friends as well as his #MARTA family,” #MARTA Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott said. “As we continue to grieve, we want you to know that #suicide is preventable and help is available to you.”

In the coming days, #MARTA will announce transition plans, as well as provide grief counseling for its employees.

“#JeffParker was a leader in our community that dedicated his life’s work to building better transportation systems,” #MentalHealth America of Georgia’s Executive Director Abdul Henderson said. “On behalf of #MentalHealth America of Georgia, we send our deepest condolences to his family, and we mourn a true leader and innovator.”

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Numerous elected officials have released statement with their condolences, including Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Gov. Brian Kemp, Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts, Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman and the Atlanta City Council.

“I am shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic death of my colleague and friend #JeffParker,” Dickens said. “Jeff understood that #MARTA is more than just a transportation system — it represents connectivity for residents and visitors of our great city and region.”

“The #MARTA Board of Directors grieves the shocking death of our GM/CEO #JeffParker who has died by #suicide,” Scott said. “He was an outstanding leader and steward of #MARTA whose passing leaves us all heartbroken. As Chairwoman and on behalf of my fellow #MARTA board members, we are devastated at this loss as we valued Jeff’s leadership and looked forward to him bringing his vision for transit to fruition. The entire metro Atlanta region owes him a debt of gratitude for his transformational efforts and we will not stop working to build on the foundation he created.”

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Why Can’t We Say ‘#Suicide’?

— Ignoring this illness is not sustainable

by Arthur Lazarus, MD, MBA

A photo of Naomi Judd

Iconic singer #NaomiJudd died at age 76, one day before she was to be inducted into the #CountryMusicHallofFame.

Her daughters, #Wynonna and #AshleyJudd, shared a statement confirming her death: “Today [April 30, 2022] we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of #mentalillness.”

An exact cause of death was not disclosed, and no additional information was forthcoming. However, the late Grammy-winning legend had been open about her #mentalhealthstruggles and descent into debilitating #depression and #suicidalideation. It was the focus of her 2016 autobiography, River of Time.

Five years ago, I attempted to schedule a follow-up appointment with a neurosurgeon who had operated on my spine. I clicked on his name online, but I received an error message: “Page not found.” Subsequently, I discovered that my #doctor had taken his life. I read his obituary on the internet: “Dr. Eugene William Strickland [a pseudonym] passed away suddenly. He was 55 years old. He is survived by his loving family.”

There was no mention of #suicide or the circumstances surrounding Strickland’s death.

Why are we afraid to say the word “#suicide?” Usually, it is for the benefit of the family, out of respect for their privacy. But the real reason is that #mentaldisorders remain the most stigmatized of all illnesses, and #suicide encapsulates mental aberrations to the extreme. I never considered my specialty (psychiatry) to have a mortality rate until one of my supervisors reminded me that our #patients die by #suicide and sometimes kill others by homicide, acts which can be prevented more often than not.

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

One of the first things I learned as a resident — and even prior to that as a medical #student during my psychiatry clerkship — was that asking #patients about #suicidalideation is an essential component of the mental status examination. I would have flunked my psychiatry boards had I not asked the question — “Have you ever had thoughts of harming yourself?” — to the #patient I was assigned to interview.

It is unfathomable that a myth persists that asking #patients if they are suicidal will precipitate the action, despite abundant research that has shown asking about #suicidalthoughts or attempts will not “put the idea” in someone’s head. On the contrary, acknowledging and talking about #suicide may reduce, rather than increase, #suicidalbehavior.

The difficulty that clinicians seem to have in initiating discussions about #suicidalideation has less to do with #patient characteristics than it does with clinician anticipatory #anxiety about learning that a #patient is positive for #suicidalideation. Another one of my supervisors commented, “Art, the only thing worse than a suicidal #patient is one who doesn’t show for their appointment.” It got me thinking that cherry-picking #patients by avoiding those who are suicidal is not a bad idea. Then I realized it was not a sustainable strategy, nor is it even desirable if a #psychiatrist really wants to learn his or her craft. It behooves clinicians to become comfortable asking “the question” and to become aware of interventions for the prevention of #suicide in their practice.

Reading accounts of people who have died suddenly and mysteriously, without explanation, typically invokes #suicide as a cause of death. The unwillingness to acknowledge a #suicide reminds me of a bygone era when cancer was referred to as the “C” word, and the diagnosis was whispered and discussed in muted tones owing to its perceived incurability. Neither cancer nor #suicide is incurable, however. Knowing the risk factors and recognizing the warning signs for #suicide (and cancer) are common preventive measures. But #suicide cannot be prevented unless we inquire about self-injurious thoughts and #behaviors in our #patients.

It is more correct nowadays to refer to individuals as having completed #suicide rather than having committed #suicide. What’s the difference? The former notation indicates that #suicide is usually a contemplative event as opposed to an impulsive act. Most individuals who complete #suicide have thought about it over a period of time, once again providing clinicians and others an opportunity to intervene. Warning signs — verbally or behaviorally — precede most #suicides. Only when those signs are not recognized or well-hidden does it seem like the #suicide was sudden or a shock.

Contrary to the theme song from “MASH,” #suicide is not painless, and it brings on many changes — to loved ones left behind. And what about the fate of #patients under the care of the approximately 400 #physicians who die each year by #suicide? How do they cope with the loss? #Patients are rarely privy to the circumstances surrounding the #suicide deaths of their #physicians, which often leave them confused and unable to obtain closure, possibly making it difficult to move on with their treatment.

Finding another #physician I could easily entrust with my spine wasn’t easy for me. In fact, after consulting a half dozen neurosurgeons, I still haven’t found one.

If you or someone you know is considering #suicide, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Arthur Lazarus, MD, MBA, is a #psychiatrist.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – 5 #NCAA #Athletes Die By #Suicide Since March, Columbus Experts Address #Youth #MentalHealth

by Kate Siefert

FILE - Stanford guard Haley Jones wears tape on her wrist with "KM19," honoring the school's soccer team goalkeeper Katie Meyer, while driving the ball against Oregon State during an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 women's tournament March 3, 2022, in Las Vegas. There has been a lot of talk about the mental health struggles that many young athletes face, the pressures and vulnerabilities that can seem overwhelming — especially to those who feel compelled to shield their pain from the outside world. (AP Photo/David Becker, File)

FILE - Stanford players huddle before an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon State while wearing warmup shirts honoring the school's soccer team goalkeeper Katie Meyer, who helped Stanford win a national championship, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 women's tournament, March 3, 2022, in Las Vegas. There has been a lot of talk about the mental health struggles that many young athletes face, the pressures and vulnerabilities that can seem overwhelming — especially to those who feel compelled to shield their pain from the outside world. (AP Photo/David Becker, File)

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A Liberty softball player wears a purple ribbon in her hair during a game against Tennessee at Liberty Softball Stadium in Lynchburg, Va. on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 The ribbon is to honor #JamesMadisonUniversity softball sophomore catcher #LaurenBernett who recently died. Griffin also shares the same jersey number as Bernett.

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — At least five #NCAA #athletes have died by #suicide in less than two months, leaving five families grieving and five teams figuring out how to cope.

#SarahShulze, #KatieMeyer, #JaydenHill#RobertMartin and #LaurenBernett all passed away during March and April this year. #Athletes who, from the outside looking in, may have seemed like they had everything going for them. But away from the field, could have struggled with #mentalhealthissues that no one knew about.

“The game plan now should be check on everyone all the time, even if they aren’t showing symptoms and maybe, especially if they aren’t showing symptoms,” Bob Eckhart said.

Eckhart served as a mentor and tutor at The Ohio State University through the school’s Student-Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO).

“I think the most complicated part is figuring out what the signs are,” Eckhart said. “Don’t assume that people who are performing well, getting playing time, and achieving results are doing well off the playing field. Maybe the playing field is the only place where they are doing okay.”

Eckhart suggested normalizing and providing #mentalwellnesssupport for every #studentathlete at a college or university.

“In an athletic context, if going to a sports #psychologist is optional, it will probably be seen as a weakness to go there,” Eckhart said. “Instead, there should be a team of #socialworkers, #counselors, and #therapists who do intake interviews with every #studentathlete who comes into the program.”

“The problem is that we have people dying by #suicide who may not even have warning signs because there may not even be #mentalillness prior to the #suicide,’ said Dr. Megan Schabbing.

Schabbing is the System Medical Director for Psychiatric Emergency Services at OhioHealth. She said a 2018 study by the #CenterforDiseaseControl found in the past decade, over 50% of people who die by #suicide have no #mentalhealthdiagnosis.

“If you know someone that is going through a rough time, whether it’s going through a break-up, divorce, failed exam or even not getting into the college they wanted to, pay particular attention. Check-in with that person more frequently. If there are particular difficulties a person is experiencing, you may be able to pick up on that and help them with getting in with a #counselor or #therapist.”

Schabbing also said working with young #children to teach them preventative #mentalhealth strategies could be key in preventing severe #anxiety and #depression as #children grow into young #adults.

“You can use very basic but still helpful terms that help kids understand what is going on in their brains. Even teaching kids something like: What type of things makes you stressed out? You can do that in grade #school. It gets the #kids thinking, this might be a trigger for me.”

A new organization, Sneaker Ball 614 was created to build awareness for #youth #mentalillnesses.

“I have suffered from #anxiety and #depression my entire life and I really didn’t get the attention that I needed until I was in my 20s,” said Kym Carter.

Carter is Sneaker Ball 614’s media coordinator.

“I am very open about my #mentalhealth now. People will tell me, “you’re so happy, you’re so chipper.” I am, but at the end of the day there is something going on inside that I can’t control. Everyone has things that they go through so be kind to everyone because you never know what they are going through. You never know what your smile can do, you never know what your hello can do. So be kind.”

Sneaker Ball 614 hosts community events and facilitates mentorship programs that focus on building self-esteem and improving overall #mentalhealth.

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JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #UniversityofWisconsin Track Star #SarahShulze Dies At 21

Chantal Da Silva

A #studentathlete from the #UniversityofWisconsin-Madison died by #suicide, her family said.

#SarahShulze, a star runner on the women’s track and field and cross-country teams at the university, died earlier this month at age 21.

In a statement posted April 15 to a website dedicated to her life, her family said she had died just two days before on April 13.

“Sarah took her own life,” the statement said. “Balancing athletics, academics and the demands of every day life overwhelmed her in a single, desperate moment.”

Her family said they had been left “shocked and grief stricken” by Shulze’s death. “Above all other things, Sarah was a power for good in the world,” they said.

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

In a separate statement posted to the #UniversityofWisconsin-Madison’s Badgers Twitter account, the #school said its athletics community had been left “heartbroken” by Shulze’s passing.

“Sarah was a beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, teammate and Badger #studentathlete,” the #school said. “We extend our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to Sarah’s family, friends and Badger teammates during this extraordinarily difficult time.”

#Suicide is the second leading cause of death for #college #students, according to the #AmericanFoundationofSuicidePrevention. In 2020, it was among the top nine leading causes of death for people ages 10-64 and was the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10-14 and 25-34, according to data from the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention.

Just last month, the parents of the star goalkeeper on #StanfordUniversity’s women’s #soccer team announced that their daughter, #KatieMeyer, had died by #suicide.

Meyer, 22, was from Newbury Park, California, and had been studying as an international relations major and history minor.

In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” show, Meyer’s mother, Gina, said there had been “no red flags” prior to her daughter’s death. “She was excited. She had a lot on her plate. She had a lot going on. But she was, she was happy. She was in great spirits,” she said.

Shulze, who was from Oak Park, California, also appeared to have a promising future, earning All-Big Ten honors in 2020 and 2021 for cross-country and in 2021 for track, according to her profile on the university’s athletics page.

She had initially made her mark as an #athlete in #highschool, eventually competing in national and state level events, her family said.

They said she had received a scholarship to race for the #UniversityofWisconsin-Madison, which was “an ongoing source of pride for Sarah as she entered her third season with the team.”

In addition to being a track star, Shulze’s family said, she was also a member of the #studentathlete council at her university and had interned at the Wisconsin state Legislature. She had also volunteered as a poll worker for the 2020 presidential election. “These experiences helped develop her deep love for politics, social causes and women’s rights,” they said.

“Sarah regarded herself as a champion for all women, as did the many family members, friends, #students and #athletes who surrounded her,” they said.

In the wake of her death, Shulze’s family has set up the Sarah Shulze Foundation, which they said would help other #studentathletes and support a number of causes she was passionate about, including women’s rights and #mentalhealth.

Shulze’s family said a service would be held in Westlake Village, California, on May 2.

If you or someone you know is at risk of #suicide, please call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – 45% Of #LGBTQ #Youth Seriously Considered #Suicide In The Past Year, Trevor Project Survey Finds

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

BY TORI B. POWELL

Forty-five percent of young #LGBTQ people seriously considered attempting #suicide in 2021, according to a survey published Wednesday by the #LGBTQ #mentalhealth nonprofit the #TrevorProject. It’s the third consecutive year that rates of #suicidalideation have increased among #LGBTQ #youth, the organization said. 

“We must recognize that #LGBTQ young people face stressors simply for being who they are that their peers never have to worry about,” CEO and executive director of the #TrevorProject Amit Paley said in a statement. 

For the nonprofit’s fourth edition of its National Survey on #LGBTQ #Youth #MentalHealth, researchers surveyed nearly 34,000 #LGBTQ people between the ages of 13 and 24 in the U.S. between September 20 and December 31, 2021. With 45% of respondents being #peopleofcolor and 48% being #transgender or nonbinary, the annual survey is “one of the most diverse surveys of #LGBTQ #youth ever conducted,” according to the #TrevorProject. 

Researchers found that 53% of those who seriously considered #suicide in the past year were #transgender and #nonbinary #youth, and that 33% were cisgender young people. Fourteen percent of #LGBTQ #youth attempted #suicide last year, including nearly one in five #transgender and #nonbinary #youth, as well as nearly one in 10 #cisgender #youth. 

#LGBTQ #youthofcolor considered and attempted #suicide at higher rates than their White counterparts, with the highest percentages among #NativeAmerican, #Black and #MiddleEastern or #NorthAfrican persons, according to the survey. By #sexualorientation, #pansexual young #peopleofcolor, #queer and questioning #youth reported higher rates of considered and attempted #suicide. #Transgender #males, #nonbinary or genderqueer and #transgender #females considered and attempted #suicide at the highest rates. 

The #TrevorProject found that respondents between the ages of 13 and 17 were much more likely to consider or attempt #suicide than those who were 18 to 24 years old.

The organization notes that #LGBTQ #youth are not “inherently prone to #suicide risk because of their #sexualorientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society.”

Meanwhile, respondents said recent legislation targeting #transgender people introduced and passed across the nation has impacted their #mentalhealth. Over the past year, a series of states, including FloridaTexasArkansasSouth DakotaOklahomaMississippi and Arizona, have enacted laws restricting #transgender #athletes from competing on sports teams in #schools. 

More than eight in 10 of the #transgender and #nonbinary respondents said they have worried about the limitations. And 91% of #transgender and #nonbinary #youth said that they’ve worried about #transgender people being denied access to bathrooms due to state or local laws. 

Last month, Kansas lawmaker Cheryl Helmer complained publicly about having to share a women’s restroom with a “huge” #transgender colleague who she referred to as a potential threat to #children visiting the statehouse. 

Helmer is also co-sponsoring a bill that would ban #doctors from providing hormones or performing gender transition surgery for those under the age of 18. The bill comes after officials in Texas attempted to impose similar restrictions on access to gender-affirming health care

According to the survey, 93% of #transgender and #nonbinary #youth said they’ve worried about #transgender people being denied access to gender-affirming medical care due to state or local laws. Research scientist Dr. Jonah DeChants of the Trevor Project called the recent legislation “political attacks aimed at #transgender and #nonbinary #youth.” 

“[They] have not only threatened their access to #healthcare, support systems, and affirming spaces at #school, they’ve also negatively impacted their #mentalhealth,” he said regarding the laws. 

More than half of #LGBTQ #youth also noted challenges associated with the #COVID-19 #pandemic as a contributor to negative #mentalhealth, including more than three in five #transgender and #nonbinary #youth, as well as nearly half of #cisgender #youth. 

But even as 73% of respondents reported experiencing symptoms of #anxiety and 58% reported #depression symptoms, access to #mentalhealthservices struggled to meet demand. The survey found that 60% of respondents who wanted #mentalhealthcare were unable to get it. 

Researchers also found that young #LGBTQ people who live in an accepting community reported significantly lower rates of attempting #suicide compared to those who do not. Nearly two in five #LGBTQ #youth reported living in communities that are either somewhat or very unaccepting of #LGBTQ people. 

Respondents said they feel supported by their #parents or #caregivers when they welcome their #LGBTQ friends or partners, talk respectfully with them about their identity, correctly use their name and pronouns, support their gender expression and educate themselves about #LGBTQ people and issues. 

“The fact that very simple things — like support from family and friends, seeing #LGBTQ representation in media, and having your gender expression and pronouns respected — can have such a positive impact on the #mentalhealth of an #LGBTQ young person is inspiring, and it should command more attention in conversations around #suicideprevention and public debates around #LGBTQ inclusion,” Paley said. 

#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,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy


If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionHotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about #mentalhealthcareresources and support, The #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness (#NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@nami.org.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com
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