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Friday, September 14, 2018

Mental Health Treatment Prevents Suicide

mental illness
Right on the heels of announcing National Recovery Month, we have National Suicide Prevention Week; September is both Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Month. Various public health organizations, people working in the field of mental health, and millions of people in recovery are using this opportunity to start conversations about mental illness, treatment, and recovery. The hope is that more individuals will draw strength from men and women who have come out on the other side of mental diseases and are now managing their symptoms via therapy, medication, and support groups.

The vast majority of males and females living with mental health disorders like depression and addiction, never receive any treatment. What happens – as you probably know – is that people's conditions worsen over time and many individuals are then at risk of making drastic decisions. Some despairing men and women start to convince themselves that treatment and recovery are not possible, and as a result, they begin entertaining suicidal ideations rather than continuing living this way. Untreated anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, PTSD, and substance use disorder significantly increases a person’s risk for suicide.

In the depths of despair people struggling with mental illness develop the mindset that they are utterly alone in this world, that no one else can understand what they are experiencing. If such people knew that there are millions of people just like them – a statistically significant number of whom are actively working programs of recovery – they may find the strength to reach out for assistance. The truth is that far more people are affected by mental illness than most would think; according to the World Health Organization (WHO), some 300 million people around the world are living with depression.


Suicide Prevention Month

Mental health disorders have the power to isolate men and women from their family and friends, which is why we all have to work together to spread the message that recovery is possible; in the process, it is paramount that everyone exercises compassion for his or her fellow-persons in the throes of mental illness. When people access treatment, they receive instruction on how to manage their conditions and lead productive and fulfilling lives. The longer society continues to ignore and ostracize those struggling with psychological disorders, the less likely people will be to talk about their illness and ask for help.

On average, there are 123 suicides per day, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide, and for every person who commits suicide there are 25 attempts. Throughout the week and month, the AFSP asks that we all do our part to help reduce the startling figures above by talking with each other. When we have open, honest, and non-judgmental conversations with our friends, family, and co-workers, we have an opportunity to affect life-saving change. The organization writes:

“Although there is no single cause of suicide, one of the risks for suicide is social isolation, and there’s scientific evidence for reducing suicide risk by making sure we connect with one another.” 

Those of you with an interest in helping the cause to fight suicide this month should take a look at the AFSP website for more information on how to take action. There are several ways you can help even if you have limited resources or time, such as sharing about suicide prevention on your social media accounts. The AFSP also invites people to help #StopSuicide by sharing their connection to suicide prevention. Please follow the link to learn more.

Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder Treatment

One in four people who die by suicide are intoxicated at the time of their death. It stands to reason that many such individuals were struggling with alcohol or substance use disorder. Addiction is a treatable mental health condition; and, like any form of mental illness, sadly only 4 out of ten people receive mental health treatment. Addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment work, people can and do recover from diseases of the mind when they believe it is possible and they learn how to manage their condition.

Please reach out to The Haven at Pismo if you are or a loved one is battling a use disorder or dual diagnosis. At our private haven, we are committed to integrity and excellence. We offer the perfect place to renew your best today!  

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.