From: Helen Newell
Project COMPASS Disability Coordinator
When it comes to mental illness, silence is NOT golden. Silence causes stigma, and stigma hurts. It prevents people from seeking life-saving treatment and support.
The World Health Organization reports that one in every four people, or 25% of individuals, develops one or more mental health disorders at some stage in life. Yet only one in three Americans get treatment. Among individuals with bipolar disorder, 25-50% attempt suicide at least once, and suicide is a leading cause of death in this group. Some of the behaviors to watch for are talking about death or suicide; talking about specific plans theyve made to attempt suicide; severe depression, hopelessness, or guilt; reckless, violent, or self-destructive behavior; alcohol or drug abuse; expressing a sense of worthlessness; suddenly appearing much better, or happier, for no apparent reason; and loss of interest in usual sources of pleasure. This is a preventable tragedy because with proper treatment, individuals with mental health conditions can and do achieve their dreams and lead full, rewarding lives.
For information about services in the Tri-county area, call me at (507) 494-0905.