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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #Teens are #Anxious and #Depressed, but Treatment to Prevent #Suicide is Hard to Find


#Teens across America are increasingly #anxious and #depressed. #Socialmedia is amplifying bullying and other bad behaviors, leaving kids feeling isolated and tormented.

In many parts of the country, it is difficult to get treatment for #mentalhealth problems.

Tragically, the number of young people dying by #suicide is rising.

Amid a slew of negative statistics from the Pew Research Center, the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness and others comes a documentary where four young people will share their #mentalhealthchallenges and flip the script on traditional conversations about #mentalillness and #suicide.

One was born addicted to heroin. One wrote a goodbye note when he was 7 years old. One was cyberbullied relentlessly. Some thought about suicide. They’re sharing their stories to let others know they’re not alone and that healing is possible.

“You’re Not Alone,” a 30-minute documentary produced by Milwaukee PBS and USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, will have its broadcast premiere at 7:30 p.m. Thursday followed by a discussion about understanding and overcoming mental health challenges. It will be streamed live at all USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin sites, including JS Online.

The message from one of the subjects, Reyna Saldana: “Even though you may feel really alone and there’s a lot going on, it will pass. There’s always the future that you can make better or look forward to. Don’t let what you’re going through or the people around you completely knock you down.”

(Please note the film deals sensitively with difficult subjects such as suicide and sexual assault.)

A collaboration between Milwaukee PBS and USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin features four young people sharing their mental health challenges. Milwaukee PBS, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


The film is an extension of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Kids in Crisis series, which over the past three years has uncovered rising suicide rates and gaps in mental health care in Wisconsin.

But the problem is hardly confined to one state.

Teen suicide on the rise

survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 released by Pew in February found seven-in-10 teens see anxiety and depression as major problems among their peers.

“Concern about mental health cuts across gender, racial and socioeconomic lines, with roughly equal shares of teens across demographic groups saying it is a significant issue in their community,” the report said.

This trend shows up in grim statistics that show suicide rates are on the rise across the country.

Slow treatment for mental illness

One-in-five children age 13-18 have or will have a mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. But on average, it takes eight to 10 years after the onset of mental illness for a person to receive treatment.

See how your state ranks in access to care here.

The most common mental illnesses among young people are anxiety disorders and depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Health provider shortages

Throughout the nation, states are struggling to train, attract and retain mental health providers. Overall, the U.S. has only enough psychiatrists to meet 26% of the need, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Find how your state ranks here.

Certain students at greater risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students who identified as lesbian, gay and bisexual were more likely to be bullied and more likely to skip school because they felt unsafe. About 29% of these students said they attempted suicide at least once in the past year. The CDC did not share information about transgender students, but research shows they are also at higher risk for suicide.

Students of color face unique challenges due to discrimination. The federal Office of Minority Health offers more details about mental health issues for various populations.


#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


Find help

If you are in an emotional crisis or supporting someone in crisis, consider reaching out to a helpline:

#NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline: (800) 273-8255

National Crisis Text Line: Text “Hopeline” to 741-741


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