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Monarch Experts Discuss Suicide Prevention, Ways to Achieve Mental Wellness

Suicide preventionMore people in the United States die from suicide than car accidents, and suicide is the eighth leading cause of death among adults ages 45-64, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In this month’s “People Who Care” story, Christina Hallyburton helps sheds light on how to take quick action in a crisis situation. While not all of us will encounter what Hallyburton did in our daily jobs, we may have friends or family members who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or intentions, and it helps to know what action to take when this happens.

Monarch’s Medical Director Dr. Robert McHale said people should encourage their loved ones to seek the advice and guidance from a professional when the following suicide warning signs are exhibited:

  • Substance abuse relapse
  • Not following physicians recommendations to seek help or treatment
  • Loss of interest in things one usually cares about
  • Visiting, calling or sending messages to loved ones to say goodbye
  • Giving away personal items

“We also want people to understand that while mental illness and substance use conditions are common, they are extremely treatable and individuals can go on to recover and lead full and productive lives,” said Monarch’s Chief Clinical Officer Daniel Brown, MSW, LCSW.

But there are steps to help maintain well-being and help everyone achieve wellness. These involve a balanced diet, regular exercise, enough sleep, a sense of self-worth, development of coping skills that promote resiliency, emotional awareness, and connections to family, friends and the community.

These steps should be complemented by taking stock of one’s well-being through regular mental health checkups.

“Just as we check our blood pressure and get cancer screenings, it’s a good idea to take periodic stock of our emotional well-being. One recent study said everyone should get their mental health checked as often as they get a physical, and many doctors routinely screen for mental health, which typically include a series of questions about lifestyle, eating and drinking habits and mental wellness,” Brown said.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, please call (866) 272-7826, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. For 24/7 support, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. The following organizations offer additional important mental health resources.

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