Suicide is not caused by any single factor, but the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention reports that it most often occurs when stressors in life and #mentalhealth challenges converge to create a feeling of hopelessness and despair.
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
In Moffat County, there have been seven suicides so far in 2019, said Meghan Francone, executive director of Open Heart Advocates, a victims’ advocacy and services organization operated in partnership with Memorial Regional Health.
The teen suicide rate in Moffat County in people ages 15 to 19 is 52.6 per 100,000 population, compared to the state of Colorado’s rate of 12.2.
The all-age suicide rate in Moffat County is 32.9, compared to 16.5 for the state.
“Not talking about this topic isn’t working. Sweeping it under the rug isn’t working. Moffat County has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation,” Francone said. “We need to be having these conversations. It’s OK to get help, and there is help out there.”
Who’s at risk?
#Suicide doesn’t care about how much money you make, what you do for work, who you’re married to or any other factors. Like cancer, Francone said anyone can be at risk for #suicide.
“There are things that can increase your risk, but there’s really no checklist,” she said. “There are some people who have all the risk factors but never consider #suicide, and there are some people who can have a rough day and can consider #suicide.”
Health-related risk factors include #mentalhealth conditions such as #depression, bipolar disorder, #anxiety disorders and certain personality traits. There are also environmental factors, such as access to lethal means through firearms or drugs, prolonged stress from situations such as bullying, relationship problems or unemployment, and stressful life events like rejection, divorce, financial crisis or other life transitions, according to the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention. Other factors that could contribute to risk include serious physical health conditions, traumatic brain injury, childhood abuse, neglect or trauma, and family history of #suicide.
Francone said any changes in a person’s typical behavior could be a warning sign for #suicide. Even positive changes in behavior could be a sign.
“A lot of times we’re good at recognizing when someone is more withdrawn, more upset, not eating, not responding, not responding to #socialmedia, not showering, etc.,” she said, “but sometimes we don’t recognize changes that are positive. If someone is all of a sudden interested in religion, or is finally tying up loose ends, making amends with people, paying off debts, turning in homework — these are changes in behavior that can be viewed as positive.” Open Heart Advocates
Open Heart Advocates works in partnership with Community Clinics at Memorial Regional #Health to provide vital services to community members in their greatest times of need.