Mental Health & Suicide Awareness with Resources
September is world suicide prevention month and I thought it was the perfect time to share some educational information about Mental Health and Suicide.
Whether you agree with them or not we’re currently living through two major historic events. One is the COVID Pandemic and the other is the Black Lives Matter Movement.
A lot of us are feeling the stress and weight of pressure from society. Some of us have been laid off and have been stuck in our homes social distancing away from family and friends. Some have loved ones who have been sick or even passed away. We’re watching protests on the news and listening to politicians attack each other.
Because of this, we’re constantly being exposed to difficult imagery and being forced to have tough conversations. This can be extremely draining on your physical, mental, and emotional health. During these times it is so important that we take care of ourselves and the people around us. Having a proper self-care routine will force you to make time for yourself and can help you prevent burnout.
If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or having suicidal thoughts please seek help immediately. You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for assistance from trained counselors. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.
I’ve worked in some capacity as an advocate for adults & youth with mental illness and addictions over the last 5ish years. I have done case management and been a medical tech at a crisis center assisting managing the crisis lines and monitoring clients on the residential units.
Working in social services has completely changed my life. It’s so easy to make judgments about the things we know nothing about. I was one of those people who thought I knew everything, but this job and my clients have proven to me how wrong I was.
Mental illness affects everyone; it doesn’t care about race, age, socioeconomic status, etc. But because of circumstance, some people are more prepared to get treatment for these illnesses. These could be financial and sometimes even cultural.
MENTAL ILLNESS STATISTICS
- Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia) each year.
- Mental illness and substance use disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 adult visit to the emergency room in the United States
- An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
- 70.4% of youth have been diagnosed with a mental illness in the juvenile justice system.
- It was found that 20.1% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have a serious mental health condition
- Out of all adults incarcerated in state and federal prisons, 37% of them have a diagnosed mental illness.
- 41% of Veteran’s Health Administration patients have a diagnosed mental illness or substance use disorder
MENTAL HEALTH SYMPTOMS
Below are symptoms if you believe yourself or someone else is experiencing mental health problems.
- Little interest or pleasure in usual activities
- Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
- Feeling tired or having little to no energy
- Inability to concentrate or perform daily tasks
- Eating or sleeping habits out of the usual
- Smoking, drinking, and or using drugs more than usual
- Feelings more confused, forgetful, irritable, paranoid, or scared than usual
- Experiencing severe mood swings that begin to cause issues in your relationships
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Feelings or thoughts of harming yourself or others
Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.
- Passive suicidal ideation occurs when you wish you were dead or that you could die, but you don’t actually have any plans to commit suicide.
- Active suicidal ideation, on the other hand, is not only thinking about it but having the intent to commit suicide, including planning how to do it.
- Roughly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Annual prevalence of suicidal ideation:
- 4.3% of all adults
- 11.0% of young adults aged 18-25
- 17.2% of high school students
- 47.7% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students
- 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition
- Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth
- 75% of people who die by suicide are male
- Transgender adults are nearly 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population
CIT INTERVENTIONAL TEAM (CIT) officers
In the United States, we have a serious problem with the lack of services for individuals in crisis. This has resulted in police officers being trained to be first responders for most mental health crisis. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program was created as a community-based approach to divert individuals experiencing a mental health crisis away from jail and to the treatment they require. These programs improve communication and encourage collaboration between police departments, hospital emergency services, mental health providers, etc. These connections make it easier to identify mental health resources and link individuals in crisis to treatment.
- These diversion programs reduce arrests of individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
- They increase the probability that someone will receive and be linked to ongoing mental health services.
- Trains officers and gives them the tools to do their job more safely and effectively
- Research has shown that CIT programs have helped improve officer attitudes and knowledge about mental illness and have decreased officer injuries during mental health crisis calls.
- This program reduces the time police officers spend on mental health calls and gets them back in the community to focus on crime more quickly.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Calls are rerouted to the Lifeline center that is closest to your area code and can help connect you to local resources.
Hours: Available 24 hours
Languages: English, Spanish. Learn more
SAMHSA National Hotline – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) national helpline offers referrals to people and their families struggling with substance use disorders and mental illness.
Call: 800-662-HELP (4357) (24/7)
Text: TTY: 800-487-4889 (24/7)
Hours: 24/7, 365-day-a-year
Languages: English and Spanish
Crisis Text Line – Free text messaging resource offering crisis support
Number: Text HOME to 741741 (24/7)
Hours: Available 24 hours
7 Cups of Tea – online resource offers free text chat to therapists and counselors for emotional support.
The Trevor Project – Call hotline, text, or chat for crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth
Hours: Mon-Fri 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST/12 p.m. to 7 p.m. PST
Text: TrevorCHAT instant messaging Text START to 678678.
Hours: 7 a week 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST/12 p.m. to 7 p.m. PST
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Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.nami.org/Advocacy/Crisis-Intervention/Crisis-Intervention-Team-(CIT)-Programs
Help Someone Else. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/
Mental Health Disorder Statistics. (2020). Retrieved September 01, 2020, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/mental-health-disorder-statistics
Mental Illness. (2019, February). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml
National Helpline: SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
Saving Young LGBTQ Lives. (2020, August 05). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Text HOME To 741741 free, 24/7 Crisis Counseling. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.crisistextline.org/
What Is Mental Health? (2020, May 28). Retrieved August 23, 2020, from https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health