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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #Suicide Hotlines Report Surge In Calls After #Coronavirus Outbreak

Mike Luery

As daily #stress intensifies over the #coronavirus, the need for #mentalhealthcounseling is also on the rise. #Suicidepreventionhotlines are providing a lifeline for people who need help now.

Crisis intervention workers at WellSpace in Sacramento are fielding a surge in phone calls like they’ve never seen before.

“We’ve seen a 40% increase in calls to the #suicidepreventionline just in the last month,” said Dr. Jonathan Porteus, chief executive officer for WellSpace.

The hotline typically gets 3,300 calls a month – but in March in peaked at 4,713.

The cries for help started rising with the spread of the #coronavirus, Dr. Porteus said.

“People are talking about the economic consequences of the #coronavirus,” Porteus said.

“People are watching their savings whittle away,” he added. “They just lost their jobs. They’re not sure even when there will be jobs in their industry to go back to. Yes, it seems to be causally connected to #COVID-19.”

#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

*** If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the #nationalsuicidepreventionlifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Demand is also rising for #mentalhealthcounselingservices at Natomas Unified School District, where a recent student death is being investigated by Sacramento Police as a #suicide.

“Teachers are doing email check-ins, they’re doing phone check-ins, they’re doing Zoom meetings both one-on-one and in small groups,” said Carol Swenson, associate superintendent for the Natomas Unified School District.

The district also offers online resources on its website for students, teachers and administrators, including a link for social and emotional support.

There’s also increased demand for services at the Twin Rivers Unified School District, where another student’s death is also under investigation as a #suicide.

“Twin Rivers offers a hotline Monday to Friday with our student services department that students, parents, communities can call into where we can connect them with various resources,” said Lori Grace, assistant superintendent for Twin Rivers Unified School District.

The district also has online resources available through its website.

At Sacramento State University, the annual walk to raise awareness about #suicideprevention is now a virtual event.

The Sac State campus is empty because classes are all online, but the Out of the Darkness event is deeply personal to University President Robert Nelsen, whose son took his own life years ago.

“We lost our son Seth and it’s been hard for everyone,” Nelsen told KCRA 3. “And it’s been hard for everyone. But now is the time to reach out and hug – even if it is virtual.”

Nelsen added, “Now is the time to see if someone is distancing themselves from you. If someone is not who you always knew them to be, talk to them, be there with them. We want to connect in every way we possibly can. “

It’s estimated that as many as 1,100 university students lose their lives nationwide each year to #suicide.

*** If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the #nationalsuicidepreventionlifeline at 1-800-273-8255 ***

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

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