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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #MentalHealthScreenings Can Help Prevent #Suicide During #COVID-19 #Pandemic

The National Center for Health Statistics reports in August, Hawaii had the second highest rate for #depression and #anxiety in the country at 40 percent, just behind Nevada with 40.4 percent. 

The #coronavirus pandemic is like no other crisis Kristina Lum has seen before.

“This #pandemic is affecting all aspects of life, whether it’s economic, social, it’s covering every part of somebody’s day to day,” said the psychologist and behavioral therapist.

She counsels people through trauma and says she sees more burnt-out essential workers, #depression, fear and stress from layoffs and restrictions. And there’s no end in sight.

“People are struggling with the #socialisolation. That is one of the strongest connectors that we know to #suicideideations,” she said.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports in August, Hawaii had the second highest rate for #depression and #anxiety in the country at 40 percent, just behind Nevada with 40.4 percent. 

#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

Last week, Lum witnessed a #mentalhealth tragedy in her neighborhood in Hawaii Kai. A #man barricaded himself in his home in an hours-long standoff with #policeofficers. EMS said he later died in the hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 “A lot of people are really shocked by the experience. And it was a very eye opening of a reminder on how we really need to be addressing #mentalhealth,” she said.

Lum suggests doing #mentalhealthscreenings regularly — the way taking temperatures and monitoring physical symptoms have become common.

 “We need to normalize. If you were dealing with #anxiety, #depression, that that needs to be treated. Our #mentalhealth and our physical health are not separate. They are really one. And so there needs to be more conversations in the schools, especially with kids returning,” she said.

She says discussions also need to be in multiple languages and formats that reach at-risk groups.

“#Men are more likely to complete #suicide than #women,” she noted. “And so we need to have this level of disseminating information from our state, but also having people go and check on your neighbor, how are you doing? Where you genuinely want to know.”

Lum says the Lalea tragedy shows #mentalillness should not be criminalized and crisis counseling is not the police’s job. It takes compassion from the community.

For help during a crisis:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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