James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people 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 suicidal thoughts 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
Welcome to Movember, so named by the Movember Foundation, which focuses on men’s health and stopping men from dying too young.
In addition to awareness of testicular and prostate cancer, the website says, “Our fathers, brothers, sons, and friends are dying by suicide. Every minute. Of every day. So we’re creating new approaches in mental health. Designed to work for men.” We know that one in five people in our country experiences a mental health issue each year, and we know that only about 40 percent of those people seek help; 75 percent of suicides nationwide are men. Movember encourages men to “Talk. Ask. Listen. Encourage action. Check-in.” These are pretty simple but powerful suggestions, all very easy to implement. They are about changing the conversation around mental health.https://us.movember.com/mens-health/mental-health
Mantherapy.org says, “Working aged men (25-54 years old) account for the largest number of suicide deaths in the U.S. These men are also the least likely to receive any kind of support. They don’t talk about it with their friends. They don’t share with their family. And they sure as heck don’t seek professional treatment. They are the victims of problematic thinking that says mental health disorders are unmanly signs of weakness.” Mental illness is not a sign of weakness, nor is it a character flaw or an indication that someone is defective in any way. It is an illness that happens to affect the brain and it deserves the same attention as cancer, broken bones and heart disease.
Right here in Licking County, our Suicide Prevention Coalition (LCSPC) grapples with how to get information into the hands of those who need it most. Men from their 20’s through their 60’s represent the majority of suicides locally, mirroring national statistics. Using funds from an Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation grant, we plan a campaign to disseminate prevention messages specific to men where they’re most likely to see them.
I hope you will help by paying attention to the men in your life, never taking signs of depression or anxiety lightly. Signs and symptoms are available on the Mental Health of Licking County’s website. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help for you or someone you care about. We’re here for you!