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
By: Shelby Brown
RICHMOND, Va. — The emotional fallout from the #pandemic has been felt around the world. But #mentalhealth experts say you don’t have to suffer alone.
Melissa Ackley, with Chesterfield #MentalHealth Support Services, and Pastor Kevin Skellet are members of the Chesterfield #Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition.
Skellet is also involved with his church’s Celebrate Recovery program.
Both know firsthand how #mentalhealthissues have impacted the Chesterfield community.
“We’ve seen quite an increase of people who are just looking for other coping skills, coping mechanisms for #stress and things,” Pastor Skellet said.
He said he’s counseled people who have increased their dependence on alcohol and drugs.
“I’ve worked with several families who have experienced loss due to #suicide as well,” he said.
Both called the Southside #MentalHealth Fair scheduled for Saturday an important event.
“We’re going to have a #suicideprevention agency, we’re going to have #mentalhealthagencies, we’re going to have counselors, a lot of different resources,” Pastor Skellet said.
Ackley wanted families to recognize the signs that someone they love may need #mentalhealth support.
“Withdrawal from people, things, or activities, that someone previously enjoyed. saying things and either saying out loud or saying on #socialmedia about, I just want this to be over. I can’t handle this anymore. I want to die. Giving away possessions,” said said.
As the community prepares to kick off #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth in May, the goal of the fair was to put as many resources as possible at the fingertips of people in need.
The Southside #MentalHealth Fair will be held outside at Southside Church on Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. until Noon.
Click here for more information about #mentalhealthservices.
The #NationalSuicidePreventionHotline is 1-800-273-855.