Emergency Contacts, Lifelines, and Suicide Prevention Information and Resources

Suicide statistics in the U.S.

• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. (CDC)

• Everyday, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

• There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes. (CDC)

• Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)

• Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year. (CDC)

• Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)

• 80%-90% of people who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and or medication. (TADS study)

• An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors. (AAS)

Resource:
https://save.org/about-suicide/suicide-facts/

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2017:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).

Resource:
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

No suicide attempt should be dismissed or taken lightly.


Why do people attempt suicide?

“A suicide attempt is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. No matter the race or age of the person; how rich or poor they are, it is true that most people who die by suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying disorder is depression, 30% to 70% of suicide victims suffer from major depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.”

Resource:
https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/suicide


Do you know what to do if you think that someone is considering suicide?

If You Think Someone Is Considering Suicide:

• Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble.

• Talk with the person about your concerns. Communication needs to include LISTENING.

* Listen to understand. *

You don’t have to know all of the answers or even some of the answers, just being with a person can be powerful.

• Ask direct questions without being judgmental. Determine if the person has a specific plan to carry out the suicide. The more detailed the plan, the greater the risk.

• Get professional help, even if the person resists.

• Do not leave the person alone.

• Do not swear to secrecy.

• Do not act shocked or judgmental.

• Do not counsel the person yourself.

Resource:
https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/suicide


List of national emergency resources for suicide prevention, substance abuse disaster distress, domestic violence, child abuse, adult and elderly abuse

Finish Stronger Counseling – Emergency Contacts and Lifelines

* Please note that this list may be subject to change as organizations, companies, and government update their websites and other information. *


Check out these charities and articles to find out how you can help

Charity Navigator


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Very Well Mind – Leading Mental Health Charities and Organizations


The Recovery Village – Mental Health First Aid for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors


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Connoquenessing Valley Heritage Trail, PA

Ideas to Raise Awareness and Funds for Mental Illness

Awareness is great,

but taking action is ESSENTIAL.

Why is Raising Awareness for Mental Health Important?

Raising awareness is important because it becomes easier to identify mental illness, which leads to faster treatment, which then leads to better treatment results. One out of four people suffer from a mental illness, and it impacts EVERYONE, not just the person with the illness! This includes our family, friends and close community members. This is why it is important that we work together to raise awareness and break the stigma of mental illness.

By becoming more aware and knowledgeable of mental health, we can break the stigma, and mental illness might become easier to understand. Breaking the stigma means that we would be shifting negative misconceptions and behaviors of the community towards the positive side. Knowledge and taking appropriate actions towards accepting people struggling with a mental illness would make a HUGE difference.

Raising awareness for mental health is a PRIORITY because there is a high demand.

Read more about the importance of raising awareness here


Raising Awareness and Funds Ideas

  • Use artwork to spread the word: Graffiti party; make a sign for your yard; hang a poster for in the window of your house; hang a paper in your classroom; paint rocks and place them around the neighborhood or local park; use chalk to create messages on the sidewalk; yarn bombing; etc.
  • Create an athletic event: Local homerun derby; a race; a bowling tournament; cycle or run across your state or country; corn hole tournament; potato sack race; CrossFit or weightlifting competition; pushup competition; hiking event; golf tournament; frisbee golf tournament; triathlon; obstacle course race; etc.
  • Community: Neighborhood or church cookout; BINGO night; go kart race; school fair; school play; put on a concert; cinema night; plant a garden; dedicate a bench in memory of someone who passed away; scavenger hunt; hold a dinner and have a guest speaker; kite flying event; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.

    Use your talent and creativity, the sky is the limit!

    Get involved with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

    • Plan an in-person fundraising event for your community.
    • Celebrate a milestone, special occasion or holiday by supporting NAMI in lieu of gifts.
    • Design your own online campaign to raise awareness and support NAMI.
    • Create a memorial page for a loved one you’ve lost as a meaningful, lasting tribute.
    • Undertake a physical challenge and keep yourself motivated by supporting NAMI.

    Additional Ideas on Taking Action

    Anxiety and Depression Association of America

  • Share your story, project (school projects, too!) or fundraiser. Visit the “Understand the Facts” section to learn more about anxiety, depression and other co-occurring and related mental health illnesses. Become a member of their online member community.

  • Article from Verywell that covers information on the leading mental health charities and organizations.

  • Learn how to be an advocate. Mental Health America National Institute of Mental Health, which is dedicated to clinical research, and they have free brochures, booklets and e-books that can help educate the public. National Alliance on Mental Health American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Child Mind Institute. This organization is an invaluable resource to parents. https://childmind.org/ Other resources

  • 5 ways to raise awareness during May (mental health month).

  • Take to social media to inspire others to get involved. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Use these hashtags to reach a larger audience: #MentalHealthMatters #MentalHealthAwareness #EndTheStigma #MentalHealthMonth #MHM #StigmaFree #IntoMentalHealth
  • Encourage others to share your posts
  • Encourage open communication
  • Share screening tools
  • Contact your legislators
  • Support advocacy efforts
  • For more details, follow the link

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • How to get involved and become a leader.
  • NAMI Walk
  • Become a fundraiser
  • Attend a NAMI National Convention
  • Pledge to be stigma free
  • Awareness events
  • Partner with NAMI
  • Share your story
  • More! NAMI is awesome

  • GoFundMe tips on making a larger impact with your fundraiser.

  • Mental health fundraising
  • Expand your knowledge
  • Start a conversation
  • Craft care packages
  • Share your story
  • Go social
  • Host a community-wide fundraising event
  • Go to the website to learn more details and to create a mental health fundraiser.
  • Visit their other resources.
  • Mental health fundraising spreads joy and positivity.

    Physical Challenges

    Mental Health America’s #4Mind4Body Challenge

  • This is such a cool challenge.
  • Something for everyday in the month of May.
  • It will positively impact your life… and maybe even those around you.
  • Learn about #MindfulMonday #TastyTuesday #WorkplaceWednesday #ThoughtfulThursday #FitnessFriday #StressFreeSaturday #SleepWellSunday
  • Mental and physical wellness; eating; mindfulness; anxiety triggers; sleep; motivation; gratitude; brain; inspiration; celebration; thoughtfulness.

  • Pushup Challenge

    I took on the 25 Pushups for 25 Days Challenge to raise awareness for mental health and suicide (including suicide prevention), you can read about how to do the challenge here and also watch my pushup videos.

    View my Pushup Challenge on YouTube. The video contains statistics on mental health and suicide

    Walks

    MentalHelp.net An American Addictions Center Resource’s fun ways to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

  • NAMI Walks
  • Out of the Darkness Walks
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • I Rock the Walk for Mental Health Awareness, Active.com group.

  • NAMI Walks

  • A National Day of Hope
  • Tools and resources to magnify your efforts.
  • There are THOUSANDS of participants and MILLIONS of dollars raised.

  • More Organizations to Visit

    REHABSPOT

  • Substance use can be a roadblock for many people.
  • Free self-help resource about drugs, alcohol, addiction, and recovery.
  • The benefits of rehab and about services.

  • Charity Navigator Your Guide to Intelligent Giving

  • Disasters and natural disaster support
  • COVID-19 top nonprofits
  • Humanitarian and civil rights
  • Protecting the environment
  • Thank you for your efforts.

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    To All the Active and Runner Moms Who Experience “Mom Guilt”

    [Note: I’m writing this from the perspective as a mother and an athlete, I feel the “mom guilt” creep in periodically, as I strive to balance training and motherhood. This short letter can be to any mother who experiences “mom guilt” and or who needs to make sure that they’re taking enough care of themselves. I hope that you find comfort and empowerment in this letter if you feel alone and have difficulty choosing self-care, I know it is not always easy. Being a mom isn’t always easy, but it is wonderful.]

    Dear moms

    We all experience “mom guilt” and sometimes it occurs when it’s time to go out and run, but just because you go out on a run, doesn’t mean that you stop being a mom. You’re a mom taking care of yourself, enjoy your run. Enjoy everything you do without feeling guilty. Give yourself grace, leave guilt at the door, and acknowledge all of the good things that you do as a mother.

    Self-care

    Self-care is crucial as a mom, it makes us better moms when we return from our activities because running and exercise greatly boosts our wellness, both physical and mental. We typically return to our “mini me’s” with more patience, a clearer mind, reduced negativity, better managed anxiety and depression, regulated emotions, boosted happiness, increased self-esteem… The bottom line, a lot of good comes from running and exercise, so take advantage of it.

    If you struggle taking care of yourself

    You deserve to take care of yourself, even if you have poking negative thoughts and beliefs saying that you don’t. Sometimes, we get caught in a cycle of negative thinking, and when this repeats itself over and over, it reinforces itself. Reinforcements create beliefs. Identify the negative and faulty thoughts and beliefs. Remember, thoughts are thoughts, not facts. Next, change your narrative and self-talk, rewriting your beliefs about yourself. Highlight your strengths, growing confidence and self-esteem. What do you do well? Keep up with managing negative thoughts and beliefs to foster change. You’ve got this!

    From your child’s persepective

    Your child sees you as a role model and notices that you’re taking care of yourself. Role modeling this teaches them the importance of self-care, as well as goal setting and chasing dreams. They look up to you. I doubt that our children negatively think of us the same ways that we think of ourselves. Our children love us and rely on us to take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of them.

    Get after it!

    ~ Shannon

    I found this feather on my run and brought it home for my daughter.

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    3 Mindful Strategies to Increase Positivity During Hard Times

    Limit Exposure

    • Limit the time you’re exposed to the situation. Be informed, but limit the amount of news, media, social media, that you take in. For social media, you can choose to follow and unfollow certain accounts and channels. Use social media to build yourself up, promote positivity, and connect with non-toxic people. Social media is a fantastic tool when used this way.

    Practice reframing thoughts

    • Reframe your negative and distorted thoughts. Read about cognitive reframing here. To begin dealing with negative thoughts, we must recognize when we have one. Next, is to identify what triggered the emotion. Our thoughts and emotions are linked. Notice whether you are ignoring, minimizing, or exaggerating the situation. Challenge your thoughts, be curious about them. Keep in mind that thoughts are just thoughts and not fact. The final step is to reframe. Rewrite the thought so that it is no longer negative, personal, permanent, and pervasive. With the practice of reframing our thoughts, over time, positive thinking becomes a biproduct.

    Allow yourself to feel peace

    • Let peace begin with you. What can you do or think that makes you feel peaceful? A few ways to begin feeling peaceful may include, guided meditation, going for a hike or walk, drawing, working on a puzzle, journaling, etc. Allow yourself to feel peace and notice what it feels like.

    Limiting exposure to news and social media, reframing thoughts, and finding peace are 3 mindful ways to increase positivity, but there are other paths out there, as well. Participate in 2 to 3 mindful activities for a few weeks or a month to see what you enjoy. Build a mindfulness skillset to use during hard times.

    If you would like to work on this with someone, reach out to a professional counselor who can help.

    Would you like some positive affirmations? Visit a past article, Positive Affirmations to get through a Crisis or Difficult Time and download my free sheet.

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    Live Now

    One way to lift your spirits (taken from the book High Hopes by Patrick Lindsay)

    ‘Live Now’
    Refuse to let time dictate your day. Lose track of it. Immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing. Surrender yourself to the activity. Commit your full attention. Notice the difference.” ~ Patrick Lindsay

    “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.” ~ Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778)

    Learn about the book here.

    Idea for if you work with teens

    Years ago, I worked with teens at an inpatient home as a milieu counselor. I did this for two years. We had a big white board and I would pull something appropriate from High Hopes and write it on the board. The teens enjoyed that and would sometimes write it in their journal or decorate around it using dry erase markers.

    If you work with teens, I have found that this gentle approach to engaging with teens is easy and can be inspiring. Some days, something I would write seemed to spark people who appeared to be really struggling, as I’d catch them looking at the board and writing in their journal. Occasionally, I observed a boost in positive emotions and peer interactions following.

    You don’t have to use this book, there are plenty of good books to pull inspiration from and share with others. I do prefer this method over looking up quotes online. Quotes online seem to repeat themselves and you don’t always know the credibility or who said what. High Hopes is a small book, so it fit in my full bag that I’d take into work.

    I hope that this article inspired you.

    Be well.

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    You Will Keep Going


    If you need support, reach out to a counselor, don’t hesitate. Most counselors are providing teletherapy now. You don’t have to leave your home and it is easy to get started.

    I specialize in telemental health. Contact me if you are a resident of Pennsylvania and would like to talk.

    Keep going!

    Learn about teletherapy here.

    Whetstone Ridge Trail, VA

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    4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

    People are under an increased amount of stress due to the ongoing pandemic, which has no concrete ending. People who don’t have a mental illness disorder, such as anxiety, are also experiencing mental health vulnerabilities during this time. They report having issues like difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering things, sleep disturbance, and decreased mood.


    4 “M”s in mental health

    • Mindfulness
    • Mastery
    • Movement
    • Meaningful connection

    Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is living in the present moment in a non-judgmental way, and practicing it fosters awareness. People who have completed a mindful activity say that they feel more calm and peaceful afterwards. Download and use mindfulness apps on your phone, follow along on a YouTube video, and try a variety of other mindful activities like the three below. Building mindfulness takes practice because it is a skill.

    Read about what mindfulness is here.

    Mindfulness 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Technique

    Mindfulness Walk Activity

    10 Minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety YouTube video.


    Mastery

    Mastery is about engaging your mind and doing what you’re good at. Ways of engaging can be tasks as simple as cooking and cleaning. Other ways of engaging your mind include creative writing and expressing yourself through art or music. Mastery can be thought of as a form of distraction. Lastly, it can be thinking about what we have already overcome in life.


    Movement

    Physical movement, such as walking, weightlifting, running, hiking, yoga, writing, painting, playing an instrument, and dancing are all ways to keep moving forward. Movement helps our minds de-stress and feel better. Another benefit is that mood is boosted.


    Meaningful Connection

    Stay connected to people. If you can’t meet in-person, then stay in-touch through video chatting, social media, phone calls, and sending letters in the mail. Another idea of staying connected is by having a digital picture frame and sharing the “add photos” link with your extended family. Then, extended family members can upload pictures to your frame. This is a good way to see what they (and their pets) have been up to.

    Nixplay picture frame


    These four tips take 10-15 minutes per day and everyone can apply them.

    We should be taking advantage of mental wellness strategies like these daily to build up resiliency and improve overall wellbeing. Everyone should have mental health preparedness for situations like the pandemic. People need a list of resources and coping strategies. People should also re-engage with their mental health treatment professional or seek out one if counseling is new to them. Needing support from a professional does not mean that you are weak.

    Watch psychiatrist, Sue Varma’s 03:31 video, practical tips to reduce anxiety here. The video is from March, 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic, however it is still applicable today.

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    Taking Care of Your Emotional Health During a Disaster

    Information from the CDC on taking care of your emotional health during a disaster.
    A few steps that you can follow:

    • Take care of your body.
    • Connect with others.
    • Take breaks.
    • Stay informed.
    • Avoid too much exposure to the news.
    • Seek help when needed.

    Common signs of distress to look for:

    • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
    • Changes in appetite, energy and activity levels.
    • Difficulty concentrating.
    • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
    • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
    • Worsening of chronic health problems.
    • Anger or short-temper.
    • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

    * If you are experiencing these feelings or behaviors for several days in a row and are unable to carry out normal responsibilities because of them seek professional help. *
    There is further information and additional resources on CDC’s website, here.

    Jennings Environmental Education Center, Moraine State Park, PA

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    Plant-Based Mental Health Counselor (and Plant-Based Doctors Directory)

    Are you looking for a plant-based doctor or professional guidance on going plant-based?

    Visit Plant-Based Doctors to find the right healthcare professional for you!

    Plant-based counselor

    Did you know that I’m a plant-based counselor?

    I’ve been vegan for years, and I greatly care about being proactive towards my health and the environment.

    I strive to encourage people to have a well-balanced lifestyle and to not only work on their mental health, but their physical health, as well.

    If you think we’d be a good fit to work together, reach out and I’d be happy to answer your questions. – I’m not a certified dietitian, though I will probably recommend you find one if you need one. — I have experience working with people who battle eating disorders.

    Be a Beginner Every Single Morning

    “Be willing to be a BEGINNER every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart

    Being a “beginner” can mean:

    ▪︎ Feeling rejuvenated or refreshed

    ▪︎ Ready to try and/or learn something new

    ▪︎ Not always playing the role of the expert

    ▪︎ Ready to start fresh

    Moraine State Park, PA

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