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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #Doctor Encourages Parents To Talk With #Children About #MentalHealth

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This week is #NationalYouthSuicidePreventionWeek

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This week is #NationalYouthSuicidePreventionWeek.

During the #coronavirus #pandemic, the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention says, it’s important to protect our #mentalhealth and help those who may be struggling.

Dr. Allison Ventura, with UF Health Jacksonville, is encouraging #parents not to be afraid to talk with their #children about #mentalhealth and start a dialogue with them about how they’re doing.

“I think that sometimes we don’t know what to say to our #children, so this is a great chance for us to have some education that talking with your #children is really a great way to start the conversation about how they’re doing with their mood and how they’re doing in general,” said Ventura, who joined “The Morning Show” on Sunday.

Ventura says one way that #parents can start the dialogue with their #children is by paying attention to any changes in their #child, such as mood or energy level, and talking with them about how they are doing in a calm, nonjudgmental way.

#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

She stresses the importance of listening.

“Oftentimes our first gut reaction is to want to fix, to solve and to get into that take action mode,” Ventura said. “But, as #parents, really just sitting back and listening and understanding what’s going on with your #child and just letting them talk can really be the first step to having a good intervention and connection with your #child to make sure we’re putting them in the right direction for help.”

Ventura also encourages #parents to follow their instinct.

“I think #parents are very intuitive and have really good gut instinct about when changes have happened with their #children, so I think listening to your gut as a parent and saying, ’This is a change I’m concerned about?’” Ventura said. “And if it is, go forward and address it with your #teen or you can go and have a conversation with your pediatrician, health provider, school counselor, maybe a therapist.”

If you or someone you know needs help or just wants to talk to a trained counselor, you can call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

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