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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – I’m Worried About Someone I Know

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If someone you know is thinking of suicide, they can call 1-833-456-4566. If they require immediate care, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

Most often, people experience suicidal thoughts when they have lost hope and feel helpless. They want their pain to end, and they may see no other way out. 

It is important to remember that #suicide is preventable. Most people who have suicidal thoughts or have attempted #suicide go on to live full, meaningful lives. 

#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

Know the signs

It may be difficult to know if a person is thinking about #suicide, but familiarizing yourself with common warning signs can better prepare you to notice someone who is at risk. 

People who are at risk for #suicide may:

  • show a sudden change in mood or #behavior
  • show a sense of #hopelessness and #helplessness
  • express the wish to die or end their life
  • increase substance use
  • withdraw from people and activities that they previously enjoyed
  • experience changes in sleeping patterns
  • have a decreased appetite
  • give away prized possessions or make preparations for their death (for example, creating a will)

People at a higher risk of #suicide include those who:

  • have a serious #mentalhealth and/or addiction problem
  • have had a recent major loss (for example, the death of a loved one or a job loss)
  • have a family history of #suicide
  • have made previous #suicideattempts
  • have a serious physical illness
  • have an impulsive personality
  • lack support from family or friends
  • have access to weapons, medications or other lethal means of #suicide

How can I help someone who is at risk for #suicide?

Listen to them and take them seriously.

Don’t judge or minimize their feelings. Be positive and hopeful, and remember that #suicide can be prevented.

Ask them if they are having thoughts of #suicide.

Don’t be afraid that you will put the idea in their head. It may be a relief for them to talk about it.

Ask if they have a plan.

Depending on their answer you may want to limit their access to lethal means, such as medication, knives or firearms.

Ask them to rate their suicidal feelings on a scale of one to 10.

Regularly ask them to tell you where they are on the scale, so you can assess if things are getting worse.

Let them know help is available.

It is important for them to know the cause of their suicidal thoughts can be successfully treated.

Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.

Some people may feel ashamed for thinking about #suicide. You can help them overcome this by welcoming the conversation.

Encourage them to seek help from a #doctor or #mentalhealthprovider.

You can also offer to help with this if they would like.

Make a safety plan with them.

Who will they call if their feelings get stronger? Who can stay with them to keep them safe? Make a list of phone numbers of people and services they can call if they feel unsafe. Avoid leaving the person alone if they are in crisis.

Seek support for yourself.

It is important that you don’t carry this burden alone.

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