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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – In this #SuicidePrevention Month, Let’s End The #Stigma And Talk About #MentalHealth

“While there is no one cause for #suicide, doing away with the #stigma and having an open dialogue about #mentalhealth is one place to start prevention.

#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – 

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


DENVER — One person in the world dies from #suicide every 40 seconds, the World Health Organization said this week.

In the United States, the #CentersforDiseaseControl said #suicides have increased by 30% since 1999. The most recent data shared by the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention showed that more than 47,000 people died by #suicide in 2017, and the Colorado Health Institute said 1,175 of them were in Colorado.

Based on that statistic, Colorado had the tenth-highest #suicide rate in the country that year.

So far in 2019, Denver has 108 confirmed deaths by #suicide, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment said. In 2018, 159 people in Denver took their lives.

Line by line, number by number, the statistics are grim.

But the WHO also reports that education, intervention programs, surveillance and #mentalhealth management are key to trying to stop #suicide. And while there is no one cause for #suicide, doing away with the #stigma and having an open dialogue about #mentalhealth is one place to start prevention.

“People often are afraid to ask about #suicide because they think the act of asking someone will somehow implant the idea in their mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Asking reduces risk; it does not increase risk,” the director of the #NationalInstituteofMentalHealth, Dr. Josh Gordon, tweeted Tuesday.

People often are afraid to ask about #suicide because they think the act of asking someone will somehow implant the idea in their mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Asking reduces risk; it does not increase risk:

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day – just one day of Suicide Prevention Month. In observance, we wanted to share stories from a few brave people we’ve met in just recent weeks who decided to talk about their own experiences with #suicide, as well as people who could offer perspective on #mentalhealthcare.


Denver Public Health told 9NEWS that men accounted for 76% of #suicides in Denver between 2004 and 2016. And in 2017, #men died by #suicide 3.54 times more often than #women, according to the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention.

#Suicide rates were higher among white men that year, AFSP said, particularly among middle-aged men.

Khesed Wellness is a non-profit based in Edgewater, Colo., which works to break down the #stigma around seeking #mentalhealthcare and offers affordable #mentalhealthservices.

This week, they’re especially focused on shining light on men’s needs. Zach Verwey, a counselor with Khesed, spearheaded the men’s mental health campaign.

“We’re really trying to recruit #men to start talking about #mentalhealth,” he said, while adding he faced his own #mentalhealth struggles growing up.

In growing up, I was under a lot of oppressive gender stereotypes and roles,” Verwey said. “There was a very specific way to be a #man.”

#Men are not great at reaching out for help when they feel down. And it’s quite literally killing them

Verwey said that the goal of the Khesed Wellness campaign is to start conversations around #men’s #mentalhealth and encourage more people to reach out for help.

“We see a lot of toxic masculinity in our culture, which is very much around the idea that #men always need to have it together. They can’t be struggling or show any sort of emotion,” said Verwey.

Khesed Wellness connects all people with affordable counseling services (a $60/hour rate). The details and locations are posted on their website.

Man Therapy is a separate non-profit that got its start in Colorado. Man Therapy said that not only do men often have less emotional support, but they’re also less likely to discuss their struggles with friends because of #stigma.

Their website is loaded with Q&As, videos and information about and resources for dealing with thoughts of #suicide, #anxiety, rage, relationship problems and more.

And, if you’re interested, the American Psychological Association has a podcast about masculinity and #mentalhealth.


The Colorado Health Institute released a new study this month focused on #veterans and #suicide, and the author, Karam Ahmad, said what the results were alarming.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data shows that for every 100,000 #veterans and people currently serving, 52 of them died by #suicide in Colorado in 2016. That’s a staggering difference between the national average of 30.

#Veterans and active-duty service members also account for 20 percent of #suicides in Colorado, while veterans make up 9 percent of the population, according to CHI.

The Colorado Health Institute then used the Colorado Heath Access survey, that surveyed 10,000 people, to gather data about #stigma. The study found nearly seven out of 10 #veterans in Colorado who did not receive the #mentalhealthcare they needed “reported stigma-related reasons as a barrier. That’s nearly double the percentage of non-veterans.” 

We sat down with Jen Burch, who retired from the Air Force in 2014. She said she “unraveled” because of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. 

You can read more about the study and hear more from Burch, who also spoke about her experience as a female veteran here. And be sure to check out our related coverage:

>> If you are a #veteran who needs someone to talk to, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255. Press 1 when prompted. You can also send a text message to 838255 or chat online.

The SuicidePreventionLifeline recommends finding support groups, calling the crisis line and making a safety plan if you feel at risk.

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