Monarch experts discuss suicide prevention, ways to achieve mental wellness
More 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 NAMI. The tragic death of Robin Williams, unfortunately, sheds light on suicide and reveals it can affect anyone.
As part of Monarch’s ongoing commitment to education and awareness, the organization encourages the community to support people they know who are among the more than 61 million Americans who experience mental illness in a given year –- and persuade them to seek help.
Two Monarch experts share several suicide warning signs, why it's important to seek treatment and how to maintain mental wellness.
Monarch’s Medical Director Dr. Robert McHale (pictured right) 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 abuse 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 (pictured right), MSW, LCSW. “Too many people living with a mental health condition never seek or receive help due to stigma, lack of information, cost or lack of health insurance coverage.”
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. “But a checkup doesn’t necessarily require a special trip to the doctor. There are also online screening tools you can use. While conditions like depression are common—roughly 1 in 5 Americans have a mental health condition—they are extremely treatable.”
Because Monarch physicians, therapists and other experts know how essential mental health is to overall physical health and well-being, they support education awareness and aim to help families and others who may be reluctant to ask for help or don’t know where to find it. Monarch is available to provide support and education to those in need.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or needs help, please call Monarch’s Referral Department at (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. To learn more, visit:
Mental Health First Aid – www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/program_overview/ Mental Health America – www.mentalhealthamerica.net/ National Alliance on Mental Illness – www.NAMI.org National Institute of Mental Health – www.nimh.nih.gov Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) – www.samhsa.gov/ or www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/ American Psychological Association (APA) – www.apa.org/