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
According to the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention (2019), #suiciderates among adolescents and young adults have increased from 10.5 percent in 2010 to 14.46 percent in 2017.
These increased rates signify a real and present #mentalhealthproblem with our adolescents and young adults that our society must confront in order to prevent an even higher rate of adolescent and young adult #suicides.
In order to address the increase in #suicide rates among the young, our society must confront the reasons for #suicide. For many decades and until recently, #depression was considered an adult #mentalhealthdisorder that did not affect children or young adults (Maughan, Collishaw, & Stringaris, 2013).
As with #suiciderates, the rates for major #depressive episodes in adolescents has seen a dramatic increase from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.3 percent in 2014 (Mojtabai, Olfson, & Han, 2016). These figures bring to light a harrowing relationship between #depressionandsuicide seen in adolescents and young adults. If our society does not confront this dilemma head on, our society will inevitably see an increase in the number of dead adolescents and young adults caused by their own hands.
For generations individuals withheld admitting to family members or friends that they were struggling with #mentalhealthissues due to the #stigma that only drug addicts, criminals, or failures had #mentalillnesses (Corrigan, 2004). Thankfully, the culture surrounding #mentalhealth is starting to change and we as a society are starting to talk about it.
One of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to stem this tide is by starting a dialogue and where better to start this dialogue than at school where adolescents spend a great portion of their time (Therivel & Bates, 2017). Most states require their public schools to have health education courses which cover materials such as safe sex practices and drug abstinence, but only two states, New York and Virginia, require that #mentalhealthandwellness be included in this curriculum (Vestel, 2018).
If we as a community can come together to lobby our local schools to include #mentalhealthandwellness into their health education courses, we can teach our young population from an early age that #mentalhealthandillness is not something to be ashamed about and it is not something to hide from others.
It is our responsibility as a community to do better for our children and it is our responsibility to ensure that they have all the resources available to them that we did not have.
If we do not intervene now and take action now, the trends seen in adolescent and young adult #depression and #suicide will inevitable continue to grow. #Suicide has never been the answer and #suicide will never be the answer. We must act now.