MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – #Mentalhealth continues to be a prevalent issue and one of the many problems that came to the forefront across the country during the #pandemic. According to a #CDC study from February, #suicide was among the 10 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64 and the second leading cause of death for #children ages 10-14.
The study says that 12.2 million people reported thoughts of #suicide in 2020, and 1.2 million attempted #suicide. The study says 45,979 people died from #suicide in 2020. Specialists at UW Health say the #pandemic can be the root of some of the issues; it is not the only catalyst or trigger for a decline in #mentalhealth. UW Health Kids pediatric #psychologist Shanda Wells says the decline in #mentalhealth and rise in #suicide numbers dates back to before the #pandemic, with a #suicide peak nationally in 2018.
Wells says that many catalysts can contribute to a decline in #mentalhealth, and for #children, the environment can play just as key a role.
#James Donaldson 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
Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
Celebrating Your Gift of Life:
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy
“Unfortunately, kids have a lot to deal with these days; they have a lot of stressors they need to deal with,” said Wells.
She says that decline in #children can manifest as acting out.
“Lots of times, #depression and #anxiety can come up as externalizing #behaviors in #kids, which means instead of getting down on themselves or crying a lot, they might actually act out,” said Wells.
Others believe #socialmedia takes a heavy load of responsibility for the decline in the #mentalhealth of #children and #teens.
“With #socialmedia is, #kids are drawn because of their addiction, they can’t walk away from the bully they walk right into it,” said founding partner of the #SocialMedia Victims Law Center Matthew Bergman.
Bergman handles several cases, representing families holding #socialmedia companies responsible for the #suicide of their #children. The families allege #socialmedia contributes to a steep decline in the #mentalhealth of #teens, something they say is not addressed but widely known but the companies. Bergman says the decline of #teenage #mentalhealth can be tied to the rise in #socialmedia popularity, dating back to 2008.
He says this is due to #socialmedia addiction.
“What we’ve learned is the dopamine effect on the brain, particularly an #adolescent brain, upon getting a like on #socialmedia is similar to the dopamine effect of getting a bump of cocaine,” said Bergman.
Wells says there are ways for #parents to address potential triggers. Daily check-ins will help teach #kids how to talk about their #mentalhealth and give #parents an idea of how their #kids are doing each day. She also recommends that families that need to see a #therapist to talk through issues and help with #mentalhealth.
And remember, if you or a family member need help with #mentalhealth or need someone to talk with if you feel you are a danger to yourself, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-273-8255