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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Worried Someone You Know May Have Suicidal Thoughts, But Don’t Know How To Start The Conversation? This Might Help.

Talking saves lives. On #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, KHOU 11’s #mentalhealth expert offers insight and advice to end stigmas and start a conversation.

HOUSTON — During #NationalSuicidePreventionWeek, KHOU 11 is sharing resources and spotlighting the #mentalhealthstruggle.

#Suicideprevention groups say the best thing people can do if they’re concerned their friends or family members may be struggling with suicidal thoughts is talk. But what if you don’t know how to start a conversation?

KHOU 11 reporter Melissa Correa discusses stigmas and talking points with KHOU 11’s #mentalhealth expert Bill Prasad, a professional counselor.

#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

How are we doing mentally? 

“When it comes to #suicide, we’re seeing a large increase in the number of people who are suffering from #depression,” Prasad said. “So the research says one out of every four people, aged 18-24, has had #suicidalideation.”

Ideation means the forming of ideas or concepts.

Why are more people between 18-24 struggling with their #mentalhealth right now? 

“Well, first of all, at that age, you really haven’t had enough to time to develop as many resilience options as you can. You don’t have an experience in life,” Prasad said. “Many, many college students are feeling a great deal of #stress, because they don’t know what the future holds.”

What are the myths about feeling suicidal? 

“There are a lot of myths connected to #suicidalideation. For the most part, the vast majority of us, at least once in our lifetime, have had #suicidalideation,” Prasad said. “Just because you have #suicidalideation doesn’t mean that you have the means or the plan to actually do it. But it does mean that you should reach out to someone.”

If you or someone you know has the means and a plan to die by #suicide, you should call 911 immediately.

How can you tell if someone is severely depressed?

“One of the ways you can determine whether or not a person is really struggling is that they’re no longer able to fulfill their roles in life. Their role as a worker. Their role as a parent. Maybe a role as a spouse or a partner,” Prasad said.

Other indicators of severe #depression are: not being able to physically get out of bed, not eating as much and talking about death.

How do I start a conversation about #suicide? 

“When you start this conversation, first, don’t be judgmental.

Don’t look at them and say, ‘Don’t think about it. You’ll be fine.’ That rarely works.

Don’t be afraid to ask them, ‘Are you thinking about killing yourself? It’s a very difficult question, but it has to be asked,” Prasad said. “The myth is that if you ask someone if they’re thinking about killing themselves, then you’ll plant that seed in their heads. No. That is a myth. That is not the way it works.”

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