Mental health is an essential component of an individual’s wellbeing. It impacts their relationships, outlook on life, and physical health. Some even say the mind and the body are undeniably tied to the other.
Getting enough daily exercise, eating our veggies, and putting on sunblock are engrained into us. We know how to take care of our bodies, because we’ve been taught from a young age to do so. But what about our mental health? Recognizing changes in our mental health is not always crystal clear. And knowing what to do about it may also be less of a clean-cut path.
National Suicide Prevention Month this September is dedicated to recognizing, preventing, and helping treat suicide. Every year, around 41,000 people die by suicide; it is the 10th leading cause of death for U.S adults. Moreover, research shows that about 90% of people who die by suicide suffer from mental health illness. To say it is anything less than a persistent issue, would be a gross understatement.
During this month, Apicha CHC is sharing resources and information for folks who are struggling, have thoughts of suicide, and who have been affected by suicide.
Mental health within the LGBTQ community
LGBTQ folks are three more times likely to suffer from mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. As a marginalized community, LGBTQ individuals deal with stigma and prejudice against their sexual orientation and gender identity. For LGBTQ people aged 10–24, suicide is one of the leading causes of death, according to the National Institute on Mental Illness.
What are risk factors of suicide?
- A family history of suicide
- Substance abuse
- Access to firearms
- A serious of chronic medical illness
- A history of trauma or abuse
- Prolonged stress
- A recent tragedy or loss
What are warning signs of suicide?
- Suicide ideation: When a person makes comments or threats about killing themselves. This can range from seemingly harmless thoughts to more overt or severe actions
- Increase drug or alcohol use
- Aggressive behavior
- Dramatic mood swings
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and community
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
Red flag behavior – Anyone engaging in this kind of behavior should seek help immediately:
- Giving away possession and putting their affairs in order
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
- Mood shifts from despair to calm
- Planning to buy, borrow, or steal tools they need to complete suicide – such as firearms or prescription medications
How to get help for you or a loved one
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency call 911 right away
- If you or someone you know is in a crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
- You can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line
- For folks in the NYC area: NYC WELL (888) 692-9355
Mental Health Resources at Apicha CHC
Apicha CHC offers counseling and short-term behavioral therapy to our patients. We have qualified and experience counselors on site. If you or someone you know would like to make an appointment with one of our counselors, or are seeking other mental health services, click here.