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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #Teen #Suicide Numbers On The Rise; Local Professionals Say #MentalHealthTreatment Is Key

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Data found the number of #mentalhealth–related emergency visits among #adolescents 12-17 years old has increased 31% since 2019.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Beyond Healthcare has only been in operation for seven months and has already treated 150 clients ranging 6 to 17 years old. 

CEO Lisa Richardson said they’ve worked hard to build an inclusive safe space for this growing group struggling with #mentalhealth. 

“We’ve seen increases in emergency room visits for kids as young as 6 that are really struggling with #mentalhealth,” Richardson said.

RELATED: Clyde native travels across the country to promote recovery, #mentalhealth

#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

She said once the child has left the ER, hospital or in-patient facility, together with their families, they’ll start #mentalhealthtreatment. Richardson noted they offer a range of therapies that help the whole family. 

The goal is to help guide the family back into a mentally safe space for the #child and themselves.

This is especially important with the extreme changes and strains that the #COVID-19 #pandemic created. Some #children not able to attend #school and with the holiday season in full swing, not all family traditions can be hosted.

It’s a lot of strain on a young mind. 

“The holidays are not just a time where #adults may struggle,” Richardson said. “Kids can struggle too. A lot of the traditions they’re used to have been lost as a result of #COVID. We really want #children to feel welcome and supported in our environment.”

That causes Lucas County #SuicidePrevention Coalition Director Jennifer Wakefield to pause since the number of suicides are up, according to the #CDC. Data found the number of #mentalhealth–related emergency visits among #adolescents, 12–17 years old has increased 31% compared to the same time in 2019.

RELATED: ‘988’ #suicidepreventionhotline must include texting option, FCC says

Wakefield said she is happy because in the last four years, the coalition has been able to meet with more #teens and #adolescents in 50 #schools, when they first were only allowed to be in seven #schools. She said this growth in accepting help talking about #mentalhealth only helps erase the myth that talking about #suicide with #teens leads them to #suicide.

“Instead of it causing it or making it more prevalent, it’s quite the opposite,” Wakefield said. “It really does open the dialogue and the ability to have this really important conversation.”

She noted many of the local #mentalhealth facilities do focus on #adults, but they can help younger #children too. But Wakefield explained that she likes how Beyond Healthcare focuses their efforts on #children and #teens along with their family members.https://www.youtube.com/embed/qcgs7EpEzv8?rel=0

“I would say [to #parents] #mentalhealthissues are no one’s fault,” Richardson said. 

She added that it’s important to make the family understand that issues with #mentalhealth aren’t just environmental or genetic, or one specific thing. But it’s best to talk about it and come up with a plan. 

Wakefield said even during the #pandemic, she’s been able to safely meet with #students to help them talk out their problems. 

“I’ve talked to a little over 16,000 #students in person,” Wakefield said. “The kids need it. The #parents are going to learn that they’re going to need it as well as they navigate encouraging their kids to have a healthy mind.”

Many of the services offered at Lucas County #SuicidePrevention Coalition are at little to no cost, so reaching out for help shouldn’t be a problem. Click here for help. 

Beyond Healthcare accepts most insurances and works with hospitals, #schools, therapists and other community programs that deal with #mentalhealth. If you need assistance and would like to know more, click here. 

A #mentalhealth resource fair, open to the public, will be held Tuesday at Southview High School from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be two 30-minute sessions for #parents and two 30-minute sessions for educators. #Children that attend the fair will be entered into drawings for gift cards. 

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