MRHC welcomed Manning Mayor, Joe Maas, to the hospital on Thursday, September 15th to sign a proclamation designating September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in the city of Manning.
There is one death by suicide every 11 minutes, and it is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide is also the second leading cause of death among ten- to 34-year-old people, according to the CDC. Chances are that many people have been impacted by suicide in some way. MRHC Occupational Therapist Amanda Arneson invites the community to join the first “Out of The Darkness Walk” in Manning on Saturday, September 24th at 10am at the Manning City Park to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention.
“My husband and I have been personally affected by suicide, so we are passionate about spreading awareness and resources, which is why we decided to host our own walk locally,” shared Arneson, MOTR/L, CLT. “Our mission in this walk is to raise awareness for suicide prevention, reduce the stigma surrounding this issue, and support survivors, those at risk, and families who have lost loved ones. These events empower people to share how suicide has impacted them.”
The Out of the Darkness movement started in 2004 to give people courage to share their connections to the cause, unite communities, and provide an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental health conditions have affected our lives and the lives of those we love and care about, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
To donate, learn more, or register for the Manning walk, please visit AFSP.org.You can also contact Amanda Arneson at 712-304-1290 or email@example.com. Participants can also register at the walk itself, beginning at 9am.
“With this being our first year, our goal is to have 100 people present,” Arneson said. “The walk is free to attend, however, we ask that everyone, whether individually or in a team, set a goal of $150 in fundraising to reach our cumulative goal of $5,000.”
Suicide awareness T-shirts are also available through MRHC and can be ordered online here or through the Out of the Darkness Walk Facebook event on the MRHC Facebook page. T-shirt orders are due by September 6.
If you or a loved one are in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please call 988, the National Suicide Prevention line. If you need more mental health information, education, or would like to discuss support, please contact your primary care physician at (712) 655-2072. For those 65 and older, call Senior Life Solutions at (712) 655-8262. Or call the Manning Recovery Center at (712) 655-2300 and talk to a professional. To learn more about mental health and available resources visit mhanational.org.
Distinct mental health differences are evident when comparing rural and urban residents. While mental illnesses have a similar prevalence in both environments, the circumstances and access to treatment look different. According to The National Rural Health Association (NRHA), rural residents face more obstacles in obtaining behavioral health services.
Based off these findings as well as the CHNA results, Manning Regional Healthcare Center is spreading awareness of the challenges of receiving mental health access in rural areas.
“We know that mental health is one of the main concerns of our rural communities based off our latest Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA),” shared MRHC Education Coordinator, Julie Hodne, RN. “Based off those results we will prioritize addressing mental health concerns over the next three years.”
Studies have also shown that the risk of suicide is higher in rural areas, making it that much more vital that individuals have access to and seek out help. The Rural Health Information Hub states that the suicide rate is near twice as great in the most rural areas of the U.S. compared to the most urban areas.
“Everyone deserves access to quality mental health care,” said Senior Life Solutions Program Director, Janet Brus, RN. “Helping as many people as possible get the help and treatment they need is what we work towards every day.”
Finding a solution starts with identifying the problem. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) highlights the following barriers to receiving mental health care in rural areas:
Advances such as telehealth have helped increase access to mental health care for rural Americans, making treatment more obtainable. Along with these technological improvements, another effort we can all partake in to help improve access to mental health is simply talking about it. Talking about mental health can open the door for people to feel more comfortable and less afraid to seek help.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, research shows that knowing or having contact with someone with mental illness is one of the best ways to also reduce stigma. Individuals speaking out and sharing their stories can have a positive impact. When we know someone with mental illness, it becomes less scary and more real and relatable.
If you need more mental health information, education, or would like to discuss support, please contact your primary care physician at (712) 655-2072. For those 65 and older, call Senior Life Solutions at (712) 655-8262. Or call the Manning Recovery Center at (712) 655-2300 and talk to a professional. To learn more about mental health and available resources visit mhanational.org/may. To learn more about how you can become an advocate this Mental Health Awareness Month and join the national campaign, visit www.nami.org.
“I’m fine…I’m really fine!” The classic and automatic response when someone asks how you’re doing, “But, how are you? Really?”
This is a common response for anyone who faces the challenges of ‘smiling’ depression. It’s appearing happy to others and smiling through the pain, keeping the inner turmoil hidden. It’s a major depressive disorder with atypical symptoms, and as a result, many don’t know someone is depressed or they don’t seek help. This often concerns those who prefer to keep their struggle private.
Unlike the usual stigma of mental health, people with smiling depression are often partnered or married, employed, and are quite accomplished and educated. They’ve usually struggled with depression and/or debilitating anxiety for years and have had some experience with therapy or medication. Many who know they are depressed don’t disclose it due to fear of discrimination from loved ones or employers. Their public, professional, and social lives are not suffering. Their façade is put together and accomplished. But behind the mask and behind closed doors, their minds are filled with thoughts of worthlessness, inadequacy, and despair.
The image many of us have of depression is inaccurate and incomplete.
Take this example for instance. There was a woman that seemed to have it all together. She was a nurse, a mother, a wife, and a sister. She was active in church and several nonprofits and was a mentor to many and loved connecting to people. Was she disheveled, withdrawn, and a downer to be around? Absolutely not. She was encouraging and thoughtful. Did anyone ever ask her how she was doing, if she was hurting, or if she needed someone to listen to her for once? No. The whole community bought in to the façade and could not see the pain hiding just under the surface.
Her life was one-of-a-kind, but unfortunately her story is not. Many who’ve felt the impact of suicide say the same thing: “I just had no idea she was suffering. She was the last person I would have expected to do this.”
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Manning Regional Healthcare Center wants to raise awareness about signs, symptoms, and risk factors regarding mental health and how to know when to seek help. Over the past few years, especially because of the pandemic, mental health challenges have skyrocketed, even close to home in the communities MRHC serves.
“Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a mental health condition is the first step to a happier, healthier life.” says, Program Director for Senior Life Solutions, Janet Brus, RN. “Understanding that mental health conditions are common and treatable is the next. We must keep working to break down the stigma against mental health to ensure people receive the help they need.”
If you have a friend who suddenly stops responding to phone calls or texts or cancels plans, don’t hesitate to ask them what’s going on and if they’re feeling okay. Or offer a low-key activity you can do together where they know they can be heard and are not alone.
Many people suffering from depression are perfectionists, or they don’t want to appear weak or out of control. The more we can shift the conversation to show positive role models with depression – those who advocate for therapy, exercise, medication, sleep, diet – the less shame will be associated with the depression.
Around half of the people in the United States will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life. And an increasing number of people are beginning to see mental health for what it is: a vital component of overall health and well-being, just as important as physical health.
It may be hard to talk about your concerns, but simply acknowledging that you’re struggling is a huge step. If you are concerned about your mental health, several options are available, even locally.
If you need more mental health information, education, or would like to discuss support, please contact your primary care physician at (712) 655-2072. For those 65 and older, call Senior Life Solutions at (712) 655-8262. Or call the Manning Recovery Center at (712) 655-2300 and talk to a professional. To learn more about mental health and available resources visit mhanational.org/may.
(Article adapted from https://themighty.com/2016/05/smiling-depression-what-you-need-to-know/)