by: Lauren Soulek
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – There is a lot happening right now that can cause #anxiety or #depression, including the #COVID-19 #pandemic and its consequences, conversations or developments having to do with justice and race, or perhaps the politics and happenings of the current election season.
#SeptemberisNationalSuicidePreventionMonth, and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken has spoken out about its significance.
According to sdsuicideprevention.org, #suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. And in 2017, South Dakota had the sixth-highest #suicide rate in the country.
“Even in Sioux Falls during the past few months, my office has heard of suicides and we’ve had to deal with suicides in our own community, specifically related to challenges of #COVID and the #coronavirus. And that’s hard to hear because it highlights the fact that right now there’s a lot of #mental anguish that people are experiencing in the city,” Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken said.
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
The month is a time dedicated to opening people up to conversations about #mentalhealth and #suicide.
“It’s so important to talk about #suicideprevention and just #mentalhealth in general. I think people forget that we all have #mentalhealth, so to have those conversations and to normalize those conversations, just like we do with any physical health,” Mallory Kloucek with #NAMI South Dakota said.
And with everything that’s happened around the world in the last six months, it’s even more important to have those conversations.
“Unfortunately for some people, they don’t see a way out. For some they feel that taking their own life is the only option and to me that just is really important that we speak out and say, listen, there are options. It will get better. Contact someone before it gets to the point that it’s too late,” TenHaken said.
“I can connect you with a resource as well. I’m not trying to be a middle person in this, but sometimes if there’s a face to it, say, hey this guy wants to help, this office wants to help. Whatever I can do to provide resources to people, I want to be able to do that,” TenHaken said.
And the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness can help you start conversations about #mentalhealth and #suicide.
“Sometimes we need to do that check-in and it’s important that we do that check-in with each other. How is your #mentalhealth today,” Kloucek said.