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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #MentalIllness and #Suicide Affect All Demographics, But There’s Hope and Help

 

While neither sadness nor anger is ideal for one’s #mentalhealth, a new study published in the journal, Psychology, and Aging found that anger may take a heavier toll on your physical health…

In America today, approximately 45 million to 47 million people, or 1 out of 5 Americans, is suffering from a #mentalhealthissue. And approximately 1 in 25 adults is currently experiencing a serious #mentalillness that substantially interferes with one or more major life activities. Sadly, the rate of #suicide is at a 30-year high.

While more individuals are accessing care, an astounding 9 million are struggling with unmet needs.​These are our friends, colleagues, neighbors and perhaps our own family members. Our employees at The Brook Hospitals and Wellstone Regional Hospital have the privilege of serving many members of our community who are experiencing some of the most challenging times of their lives — #mentalillnesses that are often invisible to the casual observer in ways that physical illnesses are not.

May is #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, providing an important opportunity for reflection and collective action to address barriers, including the ongoing #stigma and stereotypes preventing many individuals from getting the care they need.

A recent poll of 1,000 Americans conducted by Research Now provides some noteworthy insights regarding perception and barriers. High percentages of respondents view #mentalhealth as equal in importance to physical health with illnesses like #depression and #anxiety cited among the top concerns, along with cancer and heart disease. The same poll identified barriers to care and different perspectives regarding value for physical and #mentalhealth where historically the latter wasn’t taken as seriously.​

The good news is that there is much hope — and today, positive outcomes are not only possible, but they are also experienced every day. Like chronic physical illness, #mentalillness can be diagnosed and effectively managed. Individuals who were once in despair can regain their #mentalhealth and go on to live their best lives. This is highly rewarding and one reason I chose to work in this field.

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#JamesDonaldson 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

 

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What can we do within our communities to recognize the signs of #mentalhealthissues and assist those in need of care and treatment?

Listen and show understanding: If you suspect a loved one is struggling, offer to listen and encourage them to seek professional help.

— Share the Lifeline number (800-273-TALK) — a 24/7, free and confidential support line. Military veterans may press 1 for dedicated support. Suicide affects all demographics: different ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and occupations.

— In case of an acute emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Suicide is often preventable when people at risk receive the support that they need.

Our schools should encourage students to pursue careers in #mentalhealth fields, whether through nursing, medical or vocational programs. This is a growing field; we need the next generation of talented professionals.

Each of us can play a positive role to improve the lives of the millions of Americans suffering from mental health challenges, not just during this month, but every month in every community across the country.

Paul Andrews is CEO/managing director of The Brook Hospitals, and Greg Stewart is CEO/managing director of Wellstone Regional Hospital.

Workplace Mental Health

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