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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #WorldMentalHealthDay Takes On New Urgency During #Pandemic

Dr. Ubaid Kohkhar

Dr. Ubaid Kohkhar

ORANGE PARK – Orange Park Medical Center is looking to reach out to the community on #WorldMentalHealthDay on Saturday, to help those affected by the #COVID-19 #pandemic find ways to cope and heal.  

The very strategies set in place to help keep us physically healthy during the #COVID-19 #pandemic have had an adverse impact on national #mentalhealth and #suicide risk. According to the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention (#CDC), during late June 40% of #adults in the #UnitedStates reported struggling with #mentalhealth or substance abuse.

And it’s not just #adults affected.  “We’re seeing more and more #children and #adolescents bearing the burden of increased #stress and the continued impact of this #virus,” said Dr. Ubaid Khokhar, a Psychiatrist and the Associate Program Director of the Psychiatry Residency Program at Orange Park Medical Center.  “It’s clear there is a high #mentalhealth price we’re all paying due to the #virus but for those who suffer from #depression, substance abuse, or #mental and neurological conditions the cost is even higher.”

#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

Orange Park Medical Center’s parent company HCA Healthcare has a deep-rooted history of providing #mentalhealth education to our communities, partnering with The Jason Foundation, Inc. in the vital effort to end youth #suicide. A national affiliate for JFI, HCA Healthcare supports training in hospitals, off-campus provider-based emergency departments, facilities, #physician practices and urgent care locations across the U.S.

Locally, Orange Park Medical Center’s inpatient and outpatient #behavioralhealth care teams, as well as their Psychiatry Residents, work hard year-round to promote awareness of #mentalhealthissues and #suicide to decrease the #stigma and provide guidance for those in need right here in our community. This year, the team is supporting a virtual walk organized by #NationalAllianceonMentalHealthIllness to bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of various #mentalhealthissues.

For assistance, the Orange Park Medical Center #behavioralhealth team can be reached at (904) 390-6800.

“We’re urgently working on ways to lessen the impact of the #pandemic on #mentalhealth and strengthening our commitment to developing and implementing programs for our colleagues, our #patients and our communities,” added Dr. Khokhar.  Or you can find help at the resources listed below.

People considering #suicide can reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘HELLO’ to 741741. They will be connected with a person who will listen to their concerns without judgment. They can also call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish.

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