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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Getting Support From Your Child’s #School

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If your #child is having trouble in #school, there are ways to get help. From making small changes in the classroom to unlocking accommodations and special education services, we walk you through the steps of accessing care through your #child’s school.

Talking to your #child’s teacher is often the first step to figuring out how to help. Comparing notes with what the #teacher is seeing in the classroom can give you both a better picture of what your #child might be struggling with.

#Teachers are also a good resource because they have experience teaching many kids your child’s age, so they may have ideas about strategies to try in the classroom or at home. When you talk to the #teacher, be specific about what you are concerned about. Is your #child having trouble keeping track of homework? Struggling to take notes? Distracted by the other kids? Not able to finish their homework? Describe what you’re seeing, then ask if they have any ideas about what might help.

Or, if you’ve found something that is working for your #child at home, you could pass that on to the #teacher for them to try. Children often benefit from having a consistent approach at home and at #school.

What your #child needs will depend on what they are struggling with, but common interventions are:

  • Adjusting where the #child sits, such as in the front of the classroom
  • Maintaining homework logs that #teachers and families check every day
  • Taking small breaks between tasks
  • Getting a copy of the #teacher’s notes
  • Getting progress reports from the #teacher every few days on specific goals (like turning in homework or not calling out in class) that you pair with rewards or consequences at home (like more or less screen time)

#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

Pre-referral intervention

You can also tell the #school that you would like a “pre-referral intervention.” This is a meeting with your child’s #teacher and the #school #psychologist to discuss different educational supports. A pre-referral intervention can be useful because it sets aside time to discuss your concerns in a more formal way. Getting the perspective of the school #psychologist can also be helpful.

The #school #psychologist is trained in supporting kids academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally. They play an important role in suggesting strategies for kids who need a little extra support or a different approach. But if your #child is struggling with something like a learning disability or a #mentalhealthdisorder, small interventions might not be enough. When kids aren’t getting the support they need, an evaluation is in order.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – How To Find A #Children’s #MentalHealthProfessional

Tips for getting your child evaluated and diagnosed

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If you think your #child might have a #mentalhealth or learning disorder, getting an evaluation and diagnosis is the first step. But how do you find a professional to diagnose your #child? Here are some ways to find the support your #child needs.

Where to start

  • Talk to your child’s #pediatrician. This is often the best place to start. The #pediatrician knows your #child and can rule out medical problems. Some #pediatricians can also evaluate and diagnose your #child, but others do not have the necessary expertise in #mentalhealth. In that case, they can put you in touch with other clinicians who are qualified to do the evaluation and diagnosis.
  • Work with the #school counselor. #School counselors are trained in #mentalhealth and may already be working with your child at #school. They can make referrals to clinicians who can provide an evaluation and diagnosis.
  • Check with local universities and teaching hospitals. If you live near a big university or hospital, you can check to see if they have programs offering children’s #mentalhealthservices. Nearby nonprofits may also be able to help.
  • Use your insurance provider’s database. Most insurance companies have online databases that you can use to search for nearby children’s #mentalhealthproviders.
  • Ask other #parents. Getting a recommendation from another #parent you trust is a great way to find a reliable clinician. You can also find online #parent groups based in your area or ones that focus on the specific condition that you think your child might have.
  • Consider telehealth. More and more providers are offering options for online evaluations, and insurance companies may also cover telehealth care. This can be especially helpful if you don’t live near many providers or if you need to work with a specialist.

For more information about the kinds of professionals who can diagnose children’s #mentalhealth problems: Guide to #MentalHealth Specialists.

More resources

Professional organizations often have directories you can search and other helpful resources. Some even have free hotlines. Here are some organizations that may be able to connect you with a clinician:

#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

What to ask

It’s important to find a #mentalhealthprovider who is a good fit for your child’s needs. They should also have experience diagnosing the kinds of challenges your child is experiencing. For example, if your child’s teacher says they have trouble paying attention in class, you would want a clinician who has experience diagnosing #children with attention issues.

Here are some questions you can ask to learn more about any clinician you are considering:

  • Can you tell me about your professional training?
  • Are you licensed, and, if so, in what discipline?
  • Are you board certified, and, if so, in what discipline?
  • How much experience do you have diagnosing #children whose #behaviors are similar to my child’s?
  • How do you arrive at a diagnosis? What evidence do you use?
  • When do you consult with other professionals?
  • Do you provide the treatments you recommend, or do you refer to others?
  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • What are your fees? Do you offer sliding scale or payment plans?
  • For telehealth providers: How do you handle security and privacy for online sessions?

Return to Connect to Care for more information about getting #kids help.

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

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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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Texas #Abortion Ban Is An Assault On #Women’s #MentalHealth

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By Nancy Byatt, Jennifer Payne, Evan Eyler and Madeleine Becker

As a group of #physicians specializing in #psychiatry and #women’s #mentalhealth, we call attention to the violation of #women’s rights inherent in the Texas ban on #abortion after six weeks. This law, as well as the copycat just-proposed bill in Florida if enacted, will have significant and long-lasting consequences beyond the effect it has on any #woman with an unwanted or traumatic #pregnancy.

#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

This unethical law is fraught with negative consequences.

1) It increases the risk of psychiatric illness, which in many cases will worsen infant and #child outcomes.

2) It places a “bounty” on #physicians and other #medicalprofessionals who are following evidence-based standards of medical care.

3) It disregards the traumatic reasons for abortive services (e.g., incest, #rape).

4) It criminalizes #women who resolve traumatic pregnancies though #abortion and criminalizes their families.

5) It violates #patient and family autonomy in making medical decisions.

6) It inappropriately inserts the legal system into the private lives of Texas #women, their loved ones, and anyone willing to offer support in a time of need.

7) It further exacerbates systemic patterns of discrimination based on #race, #gender and socioeconomic situation, as these negative consequences will be disproportionately borne by #women who are unable to afford travel to a state in which #abortion services are available.

Being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term increases the risk of #depression in pregnancy and after birth (perinatal #depression), which in turn worsens infant and #child outcomes. Perinatal #depression is associated with adverse outcomes that have long-term consequences. It is associated with pregnancy complications, including preterm birth, low birth weight, and gestational diabetes. It is also associated with consequences for the #child, including lower IQ, slower language development, and an increased risk of subsequent psychiatric illness. It is also associated with an increased risk of #suicide. #Suicide is a leading cause of death in the first year after delivery. Maternal #suicide leaves newborns without a mother.

This law is completely at odds with current standards of care. It intends to force the continuation of traumatic pregnancies, including those resulting from rape and incest, regardless of the consequences. It will also result in the deaths of #women who resort to illegal or self-induced #abortion due to desperation and lack of access to simple, safe, early pregnancy termination.

Encouraging plaintiffs to sue anyone involved in #abortion services or support of #women obtaining them, by offering a cash reward, will only serve to degrade and harm the fabric of Texas society. Doing so will increase polarization and mistrust within families and communities, worsen health disparities and access to medical care, and clog the courts with frivolous “bounty” cases.

An #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation position statement states, “Freedom to act to interrupt pregnancy must be considered a #mentalhealth imperative with major social and #mentalhealth implications.” Laws such as those in Texas set a dangerous precedent and will have far-reaching adverse consequences for #women, their #children and their communities. It is time for repeal.

The authors, all #doctors, wrote this for InsideSources.com.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Shatter The Myths About #Suicide And Kids Of Color | Expert Opinion

#Doctors from the #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation say that #medicalprofessionals and researchers must rededicate themselves to ensuring that young #peopleofcolor receive #mentalhealthservices.

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Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
#Suicide is the second leading cause of death among #youth aged 10 to 19, according to the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention (#CDC).

#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

It’s time to shatter the pernicious myth that #suicide is not a concern among #youthofcolor. Though historically more prevalent among white #Americans, recent figures show an alarming rise in suicides among #Black #youth and other #youthofcolor in the #UnitedStates. A new study published online on Sept. 8 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry finds the #suicide rate among #Black #girls increased by 6.6% each year between 2003 and 2017, more than twice the rate among #Black #boys. The #suicide rate among #AmericanIndian/Alaska Native #youth was more than three times that of #white #youth in 2019.

In 2019, one in five U.S. #adolescents aged 12 to 17 had either a substance use disorder or major #depression. Conditions such as these can affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior. Any #mentalillness or substance use disorder can alter a person’s health, and can sometimes lead to #suicide.

#Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among #youth aged 10 to 19, according to the #CDC. Data from the #CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System show that nearly one in five high schoolers has seriously considered #suicide in the last year. Ultimately, almost 10% of #youth within this age range attempted #suicide in 2019, including almost 12% of #AfricanAmerican #youth. In Pennsylvania, the #suicide rate among #adolescents 10 to 19 years old grew by 63% between 2007 and 2009 and 2017 and 2019.

While the passage of the 2008 #MentalHealth Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act have helped increase access to #mentalhealthcare, research shows that disparities persist among #racial and #ethnic groups.

» READ MORE: We’ve offered free therapy to black men. The response has been overwhelming. | Opinion

In 2019, among #youth ages 12 to 17 with #depression, less than half saw a #healthprofessional or used prescription medication. Those rates are even lower in #Black and #Hispanic #adolescents, who are less likely than whites to receive #mentalhealthservices, and more likely to stop treatment too early.

#Healthcareprofessionals and #mentalhealthadvocates are now looking more closely at other factors that can influence #suicide risk. For centuries, America’s marginalized communities have endured disparities in the form of pay, education, housing, #racial, and #gender inequality, and we are now learning more about how these social factors have a sizable influence over health outcomes. Maria Oquendo, professor and chairman of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has a long-standing history of working in the area of #suicideprevention, and is tackling this challenge head on. Oquendo and her colleague Gregory Brown have recently been awarded a $14 million grant from the #NationalInstitutesofHealth to develop the Penn Innovation in #SuicidePrevention Implementation Research (INSPIRE) Center. “Not only will we develop and adapt research-based #suicideprevention interventions for underserved groups, but we’ll focus on testing ways to optimize how these evidence-based practices can be brought to scale efficiently,” Oquendo said in a news release.

» READ MORE: As a #Black #woman with #mentalillness, I fear dying by the #police | Opinion

While the data aren’t complete, what we do know shows we are in a crisis. Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to ending the #stigma, shattering the myths, and ensuring that our young #peopleofcolor receive the #mentalhealthservices they need. Let’s take a moment to challenge #healthcareprofessionals, researchers, and legislators to find new and more effective ways to save the lives of the most vulnerable, our #children. We need swift and immediate action – it’s time for us to all do better.

Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., is CEO and medical director of the #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation. Regina James, M.D., is chief of the division of diversity and health equity and deputy medical director of the #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation.

If you or someone you know is thinking of #suicide, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #Parents, #Students Plan Rallies At UNC-Chapel Hill After #Suicide Investigations

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By Aaron Thomas, WRAL reporter

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has canceled classes on Tuesday after campus #police responded to a reported #suicide and a #suicideattempt over the weekend. Instead of class Tuesday, #students will have a “wellness day,” according to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz.

UNC police’s crime log showed investigators received a call for an attempted #suicide at Granville Towers South around 3 a.m. on Sunday. The #police department’s crime log reported a death of a #student living in Hinton James Residence Hall on Saturday morning.

#Suicideprevention resources

Hope-4-NC Helpline: Call 1-855-587-3463 or text “Hope” to that number

#NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ for additional resources or to connect with a counselor via web chat

#NAMI North Carolina

Wellness Action Recovery

Guskiewicz encouraged #students in a letter on Sunday night to “rest and check in with each other,” on the wellness day.

“We are in the middle of a #mentalhealthcrisis, both on our campus and across the nation, and we are aware that college-aged #students carry an increased risk of #suicide,” Guskiewicz said.

The #NationalInstituteofMentalHealth says #suicide is the second leading cause of death among people 15 to 34. #Suicides have spiked since #pandemic lockdowns were put into place, according to data from the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention.

“We almost have a second #pandemic on our hands with #mentalhealth and #suicide,” said Clare Landis, a responder for Peer2Peer.

Peer2Peer is a #student-led group that offers free one-on-one sessions for UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate and graduate #students.

Landis said she’s seen an uptick in calls over the past two weeks.

“It’s a really stressful time for #students going through midterms and #seniors trying to find jobs and freshmen trying to get adjusted. It’s a lot in the fall and it’s a lot for everyone right now,” she added.

Before Guskiewicz made his announcement on Sunday, which is also #WorldMentalHealthDay, #students called for university leaders to address their concerns over #mentalhealth.

Starting Tuesday, the university’s counseling and psychological services, department of psychiatry, #school of medicine and school of social work would be available to #students, faculty and staff in different areas of campus throughout the week, Guskiewicz said.

“We are living in a world that is constantly shifting and changing,” said Guskiewicz. “We are facing major challenges and the ongoing toll this takes on our health cannot be underestimated. This cannot be solved by one person, on on one day, alone.”

#Students at UNC-Chapel Hill have said issues exacerbating #mentalhealth have been mounting this year. They’re struggling with their academics— and #COVID-19 is playing a large role.

“It’s been really crazy to be back [and] having to come back after being virtual,” said Ishan Thaker, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Thaker said his final year at UNC-Chapel Hill has had its share of challenges, and reports of #students trying to take their own lives makes it harder to concentrate.

#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

Cumberland woman opens up about son's suicide to help other parents avoid same fate

‘Decisions that cannot be unmade’: After son’s suicide, NC woman urges parents to talk with teens about troubles

“It’s horrible. We’re expected to go back to campus tomorrow and just continue our classes as if nothing is happening,” he told WRAL News before the university made its announcement.

Campus efforts to address the #mentalhealth needs of #students could be stronger, he said.

“The university absolutely needs to do something about this and there’s just simply nothing in place right now to ensure the safety and wellbeing of #students,” Thaker said.

Suicide rates increasing over the past 20 years

As suicide rate increases, therapist shares ways to help yourself and others in emotional crisis

Some UNC-Chapel Hill students said they’re planning a protest for Wednesday in hopes the university will do a better job of having difficult discussions about the matter and providing more adequate #mentalhealthresources.

#Parents will hold a rally at The Pit on campus Thursday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to support #students and raise awareness of #suicide. They also plan to give out “free hugs,” according to #socialmedia posts.

The university will also hold a #mentalhealth summit later this month, according to Guskiewicz, for faculty, staff and student leaders to address the #mentalhealthcrisis. UNC’s Faculty Executive Committee will meet Monday at 3 p.m. but officials could not disclose the agenda.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of #suicide, you can call the National #SuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-273-8255.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #Pandemic #Stress And #StudentAthletes

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Juggling the #mental demands of being a college #athlete goes to a whole new level in 2020.

Author: Connor Rhiel

NORFOLK, Va. — “I don’t think there’s ever been a group that’s having to go through as much as this group right now.”

#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

Justin Fuente has been coaching #college #football since 2001. Nineteen years later, and none of them compare to 2020. A global #pandemic, canceled seasons, rampant #racial injustice, the increased exposure with #socialmedia: the factors that come with being a #studentathlete in 2020 are unique and unprecedented. 

“It’s like a perfect storm with all of the elements,” Fuente said.

While many see the physical outlet that #players have lost with canceled seasons, the #mental toll may be just as great. 

Always a demanding role, in the past #studentathletes could always turn to their arena for escape. Most of them have dominated this space since they were #young, it is safe and familiar. Quarantine and the need for #socialdistancing intruded even the four lines. 

While players wait for their opportunity to compete again, many monitor their #mentalhealth like never before, and they have more support than ever before.

“Hopefully this has opened our eyes, as older people, to the things #kids are going through,” Fuente said.

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – A ‘Second Wave’ Of #MentalHealth Devastation Due To #Covid-19 Is Imminent, Experts Say

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By Naomi Thomas and Sam Romano, CNN

While the world struggles to manage the initial waves of death and disruption caused by the #Covid-19 #pandemic, there is mounting evidence accumulating that “a second wave” linked to rising rates of #mentalhealth and substance use disorders could be building, according to an article published Monday in the medical journal JAMA.

“A second wave of devastation is imminent, attributable to #mentalhealth consequences of #Covid-19,” wrote authors Dr. Naomi Simon, Dr. Glenn Saxe and Dr. Charles Marmar, all from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.

“The magnitude of this second wave is likely to overwhelm the already frayed #mentalhealthsystem, leading to access problems, particularly for the most vulnerable persons.”

This second #mentalhealth wave, the researchers suggested, will bring further challenges, such as increased deaths from #suicide and drug overdoses, and will have a disproportionate effect on the same groups that the first wave did: #Black and #Hispanic people, older adults, lower socioeconomic groups and #healthcareworkers.

“This magnitude of death over a short period of time is an international tragedy on a historic scale,” the authors said. “This interpersonal loss is compounded by societal disruption.”

Of central concern, the authorswrote, is “the transformation of normal grief and distress into prolonged grief and major depressive disorder and symptoms of posttraumatic health disorder.”

#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

A grief that lasts longer

Prolonged grief, which affects approximately 10% of bereaved people, is characterized by at least six months of intense longing, preoccupation or both, with the deceased; emotional pain; #loneliness; difficulty reengaging in life; avoidance; feeling life is meaningless; and increased #suicide risk. These conditions can also become chronic with additional comorbidities, such as substance use disorders, the authors said.

The 10% affected by prolonged grief is likely an underestimate for grief related to deaths from #Covid-19, and each death leaves approximately nine family members bereaved, the authors said. This means there are a projected 2 million bereaved individuals in the US and “thus, the effect of #Covid-19 deaths on #mentalhealth will be profound.”

Of particular concern for the authors is the psychological risks for health care and other essential workers. “Supporting the #mentalhealth of these and other essential workforce is critical to readiness for managing recurrent waves of the #pandemic,” the authors said.

#Covid-19 is already affecting #mentalhealth

The #pandemic has already brought with it a #mentalhealthcrisis, according to data from the #USCentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention. And a new report found that #Americans are experiencing more #coronavirus-related #mentalhealthissues than people in other countries.

The #CDC survey data reported that nearly 41% of respondents are struggling with #mentalhealthissues stemming from the #pandemic. The issues are related to the #pandemic and to the measures set up to contain it, including stay-at-home orders and #socialdistancing.

Nearly 41% of respondents reported one or more #behavioral or #mentalhealthconditions, including substance use, symptoms of #depression or suicidal thoughts.

The number of #Americans reporting #anxiety symptoms is three times the number at this same time last year, according to the #CDC, and several studies have shown that the #pandemic has hit #Black people and other people of color the hardest.

The #pandemic has also taken its toll on caregivers, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The national analysis of at least 6.7 million caregivers insured by the association found that 26% of unpaid caregivers trying to balance work and family due to #Covid-19 are feeling more #stress and have poorer physical health than before the #pandemic.

The NYU authors suggest the solution will require increased funding for #mentalhealth; widespread screening to identify those who are at highest risk; primary care #physicians and #mentalhealthprofessionals who are trained in treating people with prolonged grief, #depression, traumatic stress and substance abuse; and a diligent focus on families and communities, creatively restoring the approaches they have used to manage loss and tragedy over generations.

Photo by Tess Emily Seymour on Pexels.com
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An essay on the importance of interracial friendships

I’ve been saying for years that the only true way for people of other races to really build a true friendship, is to break bread together.

My own personal motto has always been, “for a meal… I’ll be there!”

And, in doing that, I’ve built dozens of true friendships through the years, especially with white people, as I’ve been welcomed into their homes, to meet the family and kids, to enjoy a home cooked meal, and talk and get to know each other, below the surface talk that we’re all so used to.

How many of you have ever had a person (black person especially) of another race, culture to your home for a sit down meal and conversation? I’m not talking about meeting at the local coffee shop, that doesn’t count the same.

When you open your home, you give others a glimpse into your world and home life. How your home is decorated, the neighborhood that you live in, the neighbors who might drop by, your kids and pets. It’s easy to spend 2 – 3 hours together, rather than a quick 30 minutes at a coffee shop.

I encourage all of us to do these kinds of friendship building. I put the impetus on white people, because blacks already live in a white dominated society, and we can’t escape it. Whites can escape our reality, simply by closing their doors or minds to it.

White America hasn’t had the need (especially since WWII) to learn about other cultures, or even learn other languages, and so they don’t know about that (in general of course). Communities of color and immigrants have had to learn English, American/White culture in order to survive in America.

But in order for us to ever really “get along and learn about each other, and make true friendships” this is something that we really need to do.

America was built on the “melting pot” concept, but that has never really happened. Perhaps this approach can help with that.

I’d appreciate your comments if you care leave me one.

Or better yet, have me over to your home for a meal. (smile)

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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – 5 Myths About #MentalIllness: Find Help, Hope And Healing

By Erica Quinlan

Mental health service provider Shaine Malekgoodar, seen in the monitor screen, can connect with Hope Family Health patients in Westmoreland, Tennessee, its satellite locations, or at home, when using a high-speed fiberoptic cable network.

INDIANAPOLIS — #Mentalhealth was the key topic at the second annual Healing the Heartland program hosted by AgrIInstitute.

#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

Jennifer Brandt, director of member wellbeing and inclusion initiatives at American Veterinary Medical Association, shared several myths about #mentalhealth during the presentation.

1. #Mentalhealth conditions are uncommon.

False. #Mentalillness is more prevalent than many people think. One in five #Americans experience it in their lifetime. One in 25 experience a serious #mentalillness in a given year.

2. #Mentalillness is caused by personal weakness.

False. Just like any major illness, #mentalillness is not the fault of the person who has the condition. It is caused by a complex mix of environmental and biological factors, not personal weakness.

3. #Depression is often about attention seeking and can be willed away.

False. People don’t choose to have a #mentalillness any more than they choose to have cancer or a heart attack. #Depression is not just “the blues.” It is a serious medical condition that affects biological, social and emotional functioning.

4. People with #mentalhealthconditions are more prone to be violent or dangerous.

False. Living with a #mentalhealthcondition makes you more likely to be a victim of violence — at four times the rate of the general public.

5. It’s dangerous to ask someone if they are considering #suicide. It plants a seed.

False. For those struggling with #depression, they may be relieved to have the opportunity to speak with someone. Often, what people want is a connection and to be heard or seen without judgment.

There are multiple protective factors that can play a role in #suicideprevention, Brandt said.

One is a sense of connection to community and family.

“It doesn’t mean you need to have a huge social network,” Brandt said. “We really want people to have a circle of about 10 or 12 folks. They don’t need to be people you hang out with every day. It doesn’t need to be your best friend. But do you have a wide enough circle?”

Having life skills, including problem solving skills, impulse control and resiliency, can also be a protective factor.

If you are worried about someone’s potential wellbeing, the best thing to do is have a conversation with them, Brandt said.

It can be hard and uncomfortable. But it’s worth it.

“The key is being willing to start that conversation,” Brandt said. “And often it may sound something like this: ‘I’ve noticed you say you haven’t been sleeping lately or meeting up for our weekly poker game. I’m concerned. Tell me about what’s going on. I’m here to listen.’

“Then make sure you are listening. Don’t scroll on your phone or have other distractions. Set aside some time for that conversation so that person knows they have your undivided attention.”

There are three primary questions to ask:

1. Are you thinking about #suicide?

2. Do you have a plan for #suicide?

3. Do you have access to that plan?

“If any of the answers are yes, do not leave the person alone,” Brandt said. “It’s important to stay calm. How we ask those questions is also very important. The tone of voice — be non-judgmental.

If you can safely remove the means of #suicide, do so.

“You can call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLine,” Brandt said. “You do not need to be suicidal in that moment. You can call them proactively and they can offer you information, support and resources.

“If you do need to call 911, you can ask if there’s somebody who may have #mentalhealth experience to try and keep everybody as safe as possible.”

The #NationalSuicidePreventionLine is 800-273-8255. Learn more at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.