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Suicide Prevention Month emphasizes mental health during the pandemic

National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Alliance on Mental Illness(KY3)
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 4:39 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

Natural disasters, COVID-19, and social unrest have added stress to many people. Ultimately it has taken a toll on our minds and bodies. According to a CDC report, about 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health, substance abuse, or suicidal thought during late June.

With suicide being a global issue, statistics show that it’s the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S, where nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. This is why experts are pushing the importance of mental health during Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.

Stephanie Appleby is Executive Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and a suicide survivor. She said the numbers and statistics are devastating and are visible within NAMI. While she works closely with the medical examiner’s office, she said there has been an increase in suicides in Greene County. Throughout this pandemic, there has also been a significant influx of people looking for support and mental health resources. Although Appleby said it’s painful to witness the increase first hand, she said now more than ever, people need to have that tough but necessary conversation on suicide because it can change and save a life. She’s relieved people are taking advantage of resources and want others to know it’s okay.

“Show yourself some grace, it’s okay and that you’re dealing with sickness, and you have to deal with it just like you would anything else. So take that stigma away for yourself and allow yourself to heal and get help.”

Through advocacy, support, and education, Appleby said NAMI is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families. She said for anyone dealing with suicidal thoughts, or mental illness, never make a permanent decision on a temporary problem.

“It’s harder than other times, and we may think oh my gosh when it rains, it pours, and things are happening to me, and I don’t see a way out. There is a way, and not only is there a way out, but your story can impact someone else.”

Appleby said September is Suicide Prevention Month is also a time to remember those who died from suicide and help others access the resources and support that others, unfortunately, did not have.

Available Crisis Resources:

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line

Burrell Behavioral Health 24-hour crisis helpline for Southwest Missouri - 800-494-7355

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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