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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – EDITORIAL: #Suicide Help Close At Hand

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Regardless of the circumstances, #suicide is a tragedy.

A story on the front page of the Sunday edition of The Valdosta Daily Times reports on a group to help the people who have lost a friend or relative to a loved one.

Survivors of #Suicide Valdosta started several years ago then discontinued meetings a few years back. SOS Valdosta is back with the first gathering scheduled 5:30-7 p.m., July 5, at Just Love Coffee Cafe, next to Publix on Gornto. More information: Visit SOS Valdosta on #Facebook, email sosvaldosta@yahoo.com or call (229) 234-9939. 

Tamara Hardesty, facilitator, emphasizes SOS Valdosta is not a #suicide prevention group. It is for people experiencing the grief of losing a family member or friend to #suicide.

Hardesty notes that #suicideprevention and dealing with the aftermath of #suicide are two very different things. 

#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

For people seeking help for themselves or loved ones dealing with suicidal thoughts, the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline says there are numerous risk factors for #suicide that include:

— #Mentaldisorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, #anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders.

— #Alcohol and other substance use disorders.

— #Hopelessness.

— Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies.

— History of trauma or abuse.

— Major physical illnesses.

— Previous #suicide attempt(s).

— Family history of #suicide.

— Job or financial loss.

— Loss of relationship(s).

— Easy access to lethal means.

— Local clusters of #suicide.

— Lack of social support and sense of #isolation.

— #Stigma associated with asking for help.

— Lack of health care, especially #mentalhealth and substance abuse treatment.

— Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that #suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma.

— Exposure to others who have died by #suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet).

So, NSPL says that everyone should be aware of certain warning signs that may be indicators someone is at or near the crisis point. These warning signs include:

— Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.

— Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun.

— Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

— Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

— Talking about being a burden to others.

— Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.

— Acting #anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

— Sleeping too little or too much.

— Withdrawing or isolating themselves.

— Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

— Extreme mood swings.

State officials warn individuals who exhibit signs of #suicide, or identify signs of #suicide in others, can call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line, 1-800-715-4225, 24/7. All calls are free and confidential. Alternatively, visit www.mygcal.com for assistance. The #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline is (800) 273-8255.

We urge people to call for help if they, or someone they love or even know, appears to be at-risk.

We also urge people who have lost loved ones to #suicide to look into SOS Valdosta. 

Help is available. 

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