by: Markeshia Jackson, Olivia Taggart
WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Millions of #Americans face the reality of living with a #mentalhealthcondition and all the ways it can directly impact those around them.
October third through the ninth is #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek, and those who work directly to create resources for people living with #mentalillness said everyone can help each other when it comes to living with these illnesses.
For Hope Squad member and Co-Founder of Holy Kombucha, Theresa Pham, support for those struggling with #mentalillnesses is something near and dear to her heart, especially because she wishes there was more of it before her own son tragically died by #suicide.
“My son passed away on October 15th just two years ago in 2019, so doing all this actually is a form of healing for me because I get to tell my son’s story, and in doing so, I hope to save lives, and that’s very healing for me,” Pham said.
Pham, who is a member and advisor for the Hope Squad, a #youth #suicideprevention group used in many North Texas #school districts, said it’s very important to discuss how #mentalillness is affecting #children.
“#Suicide is on the rise in our #youth,” Pham said. “Kids from age range of 10-24, there’s a huge rate of increase in #suicide over the past ten years: like 60%, and that’s alarming because no other group has that kind of rate of increase.”
Locally, those like Cynthia Brock of Red River Hospital said they are proud they can help those in our community work through #mentalhealthproblems.
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
“Red River is an acute inpatient #behavioralhealth hospital, so folks come to us when they are truly in a crisis,” Brock said. “We also have outpatient programming for those who don’t need to stay in a hospital setting.”
“It’s absolutely wonderful to know that we have these things in North Texas,” Brock said. “We are always here; I can’t tell you enough how all of these services are there, 24/7, somebody’s there — a person you can talk to or text with who is there for you and who wouldn’t be there if they weren’t concerned.”
Both Pham and Brock said keeping #mentalhealth at the top of our priority list is best.
“It’s as important as we place the importance on our physical health,” Pham said. “We go to the doctor’s, we go to dentist’s very regularly, and it’s the same thing with our #mentalhealth — you have to check in on each other.”
“I think the important part is to reach out and let someone know that you’re in need.”
If you or someone you know may be going through a #mentalhealthcrisis, you can find resources here.