Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

by Joanne Halt M.A. – NAMI FaithNet

Our mind is only as healthy as our brain. Like other organs, our brain can get hurt from head trauma, ingesting harmful substances and not practicing healthy brain habits. When we have the genetic set-up, the brain can also malfunction when we experience too much environmental stress. This month we are asked to focus on suicide and how each of us can help decrease this ever growing health issue. Suicide happens in 98% of the cases due to an undiagnosed or undertreated brain disorder. Less than one third of adults and one half of children receive treatment. Suicides in American youth have increased by 73% from 1991 to 2017. It is now the second leading cause of death in 15-24 year olds and the third leading cause of death for 10-24 year olds. The moral injury of fighting a war on top of brain trauma by IED injuries results in 18-22 veteran suicides per day. We put a lot of effort into knowing the signs of cancer so we can catch it at stage 1. What if we were that diligent about catching mental health disorders at stage 1? How many lives might be saved?

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Speaking up is something each of us can do. If you sense that a family member or friend is depressed, ask the question:

“Sometimes people going through a rough time find they have so much emotional pain, that they think it would be wonderful to go to sleep and never wake up again. Have you thought that too?” Or be more direct and ask: “Sometimes emotional pain is so intense, it’s easy to think that suicide would solve the problem. Has this crossed your mind, even for a second?” If your friend answers “yes”, say “Thank you” right away because s/he trusted you. “I’m on your side and want to help you overcome this because I don’t want you to die. Let’s check some things out. My guess is that you wouldn’t consider this option if you felt less miserable.” The National Suicide Hotline is 800-273-8255 and our local Mobile Crisis Unit is 888-395-4432

Join Us – September 26th

Our Journey to Hope Family Support Group will be walking September 26 after the 4pm Mass around the perimeter of the parish grounds to the Memorial Garden weather permitting leaving from the courtyard door. In years past we have done the NAMIWalks fundraiser on this date with great parish support. We will socially distance and wear masks and water will be supplied. We walk in solidarity with the one out of five of us who lives with a brain disorder. Please put on your walking shoes and join us.