Youth Depression & Suicide Prevention: It does Get Better. There are SO Many Reasons to Live. Thank You for Staying Here!

Youth Depression & Suicide Prevention: It does Get Better. There are SO Many Reasons to Live. Thank You for Staying Here!

This is article is long. It's not short and pithy. There are no quick fixes to depression and suicide. Quick, cliched, trite, pat answers don't work. Real answers take time and patience and lots of empathy and love. I am going to share some things here, though, that aren't elsewhere from my clients and my experiences together which may be helpful in addition to all the great information that is out there on this topic.

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Guest Blogger: "Hyde, Hulk, Gollum, and I: An Exploration of Our Dark Sides"

Guest Blogger: "Hyde, Hulk, Gollum, and I: An Exploration of Our Dark Sides"

Our bad emotions are what people usually call their dark side, C. G. Jung likes to call this part the “shadow”.  But just as everyone’s personality is different, everybody’s dark side is different too someone could have problems controlling their anger, frustration, sadness, etc. These differences can be explored by looking at Dr. Jekyll from the book The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Marvel’s super hero Dr. Bruce Banner, the character Smeagol from the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, and myself.

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Self-Mastery: De-fusing Triggering Words with CBT

Self-Mastery: De-fusing Triggering Words with CBT

"Sometimes words can become your worst enemy. Clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist Dr Jane Gregory tells how to defuse their power." —Helen Zaltzman, The Allusionist Podcast

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7 Red Lines: The Importance of Having a Realistic Approach to Change

7 Red Lines: The Importance of Having a Realistic Approach to Change

People come wanting a solution to a train wreck of a marriage: Save our marriage and transform it into a truly GREAT relationship. "Certainly. That's what I'm here for and I love to help people do... Let's get cracking...". And then they proceed to tell me how it should be constructed based on myths, what they heard, opinions and preferences that are contrary to how healthy relationships actually function; in what ridiculously short time frame it should occur; with minimal to no actual study, practice and effort on their part because  "really it shouldn't be this hard" nor "take this long." And then if they don't accomplish their goals in those parameters they quit therapy saying, "Well, we tried. Counseling just doesn't work." And they stay discouraged and stuck. 

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Guest Blogger Kara Sherman on "Managing My Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)"

Guest Blogger Kara Sherman on "Managing My Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)"

Over the past month my Seasonal Affective Disorder has gone into overdrive with the onset of winter and less sunlight every day. I experience it in different degrees every year. Some years I don't experience it at all. This year it's obnoxious in it's intensity. My chronic neck pain has returned and my head has hurt for 5 days in a row (thank goodness for Exedrin and Dr Pepper) not to mention wanting to sleep All. The. Time. and becoming a hermit. But there are things I do to keep myself above and on top of the depression

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From Ignorance to Mastery

From Ignorance to Mastery

I am ignorant. So are you. Face it. The reality is if I take every single thing I know, big and small, silly and profound, and compare it to all that there is to know in this vast universe then the only conclusion I can arrive at is that my knowledge is infinitesimally small and that I am VASTLY ignorant. I'm okay with that. It keeps my ego grounded and my mind open to learning. Fortunately, there is a solution to ignorance... 
 

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Calendar of Behavioral Health (Mental Health, Addictions, Abuse, Relationship & Parenting) Awareness Days, Weeks & Months

[one_fourth last="no"] January

February

March

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[one_fourth last="no"]

April

May

Mental Health Month

National Children's Mental Health Week

Older American's Mental Health Week

Schizophrenia Awareness Week

June

National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day

[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth last="no"]

July

National Minority Mental Health Month

August

September

National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month

National Suicide Prevention Week

World Suicide Prevention Day

[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth last="yes"]

October

November

December

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[divider] [/divider]

January, 3rd Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Civil Rights, Peace, Nonviolence. I have a page just for MLK.

February 26 – March 3, 2012 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Held annually during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, NEDA educates and screens for eating disorders and connects those at-risk with local resources. Many people struggle with the way they look or how they feel about their bodies, with one out of three normal dieters progressing to pathological dieting. In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder, which has one of the highest mortality rates of any mental illness.http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/programs-events/nedawareness-week.php

National Eating Disorders Screening Program® (NEDSP) online and in the community screening program: http://mentalhealthscreening.org/events/national-eating-disorder-screening-program.aspx

April 5, 2011 National Alcohol Screening Day Online, in the community. Held annually on Thursday of the first full week of April, NASD is an outreach, education, and screening program that raises awareness about alcohol misuse and refers individuals with alcohol problemfor further evaluation. The program is provided by nearly a thousand colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations world-wide each year. Organized by Screening for Mental Healthhttp://mentalhealthscreening.org/events/national-alcohol-screening-day.aspx

April 1 – 30, 2012 Alcohol Awareness Month National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. 244 East 58th Street, 4th Floor New York, NY 10022 (800) NCA-CALL (622-2255) (24-hour helpline) (212) 269-7797 (212) 269-7510 Fax national@ncadd.org www.ncadd.org Materials available

May 1 – May 7, 2012 National Children’s Mental Health Week This week is dedicated to increasing public awareness about the triumphs and challenges in children’s mental health and emphasizing the importance of family and youth involvement in the children’s mental health movement! Organized by National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health http://www.ffcmh.org/

May 1 – May 31, 2012 Mental Health Month Mental Health America is proud to continue its tradition of celebrating “May is Mental Health Month,” which began in 1949. Organized by Mental Health America http://www.nmha.org/

May 19 – May 25, 2012 Older Americans’ Mental Health Week An annual opportunity to spread the message that mental illness is not a normal part of aging. Public awareness increases a community’s understanding of mental illness and reduces the stigma that keeps many older Americans from seeking help. Public awareness activities can range from an information display at a library to a speaker panel event. Together, during Older Americans’ Mental Health Week, we will continue to tell the American public and policy makers that: mental illness is not a normal part of aging; mental illnesses are real, common and treatable; the more people know, the more they can help themselves and others; and healthy adults continue to learn, enjoy life and contribute to society. Organized by The Older Women’s League (OWL) http://www.mentalhealthweek.org/Welcome.html

May 20 – May 26, 2012 Schizophrenia Awareness Week One out of every one hundred people has schizophrenia. People with this illness not only face difficult and at times debilitating symptoms, but they also face a society that stigmatizes and often isolates them. Organized by Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America.http://www.sardaa.org

June 27, 2012 National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day The U.S. Senate passed a resolution authored by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., designating June 27 as National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day. http://bit.ly/bSV5VG Organized by United States Senate.

July 1 – July 31, 2012 National Minority Mental Health Month In 2008 the US House of Representatives proclaimed July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This provides NAMI state and affiliates with a wonderful opportunity to reach out to diverse communities. Learn more about Bebe here.  Organized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) http://bit.ly/gZN8iG

September 1 – September 30, 2012 National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month Recovery Month aims to promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment, laud the contributions of treatment providers, and promote the message that recovery from alcohol and drug disorders in all its forms is possible. Organized by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)http://www.recoverymonth.gov/

September 4 – September 10, 2011 National Suicide Prevention Week Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and anyone can participate in National Suicide Prevention Week.  Suicide and suicidal behavior affects individuals of all ages, genders, races and religions across the planet. Suicide affects more men than women in all countries but China. Risk factors remain essentially the same from country to country. Mental illness, substance abuse, previous suicide attempts, hopelessness, access to lethal means, recent loss of loved ones, unemployment and vulnerability to self-harm are just a few examples of risk factors. Protective factors are also the same in all corners of the world. High self-esteem, social connectedness, problem-solving skills, supportive family and friends are all examples of factors that buffer against suicide and suicidal behaviors. Organized by American Association of Suicidology.  http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/about-aas/nspw

September 8, 2012 World Suicide Prevention Day We believe that through a combined effort at an international and local level, a difference to the lives of many will be made. Suicide Can be Prevented. * The WHO has noted that not all suicides can be prevented, but a majority can. * Developing and implementing national strategies as well as specific local interventions can lower rates of suicide in diverse populations. * Successful approaches to suicide prevention have includes: restricting access to means; establishing community prevention programs; establishing guidelines for media reporting; and engaging with frontline professionals through gate keeper training programs Organized by International Association for Suicide Prevention.http://www.iasp.info/wspd/index.php

October Domestic Violence Awareness Month 

October 7 – October 13, 2012 Mental Illness Awareness Week In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October to celebrate. MIAW has become a NAMI tradition. It presents an opportunity to all NAMI state organizations and affiliates across the country to work together in communities to achieve the NAMI mission through outreach, education and advocacy. The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding is Tuesday. Organized by NAMI.  http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=mental_illness_awareness_week

October 4, 2012 National Bipolar Awareness Day In recognition of National Bipolar Awareness Day, the IBPF is introducing our own version of Pay it Forward: Say it Forward! Take the time today to educate one person about bipolar disorder. If that person does the same, and so on, think of how much change we can create.  Organized by International Bipolar Foundation.http://www.internationalbipolarfoundation.org/

October 4, 2012 National Depression Screening Day Held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, NDSD raises awareness and screens people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. NDSD is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that provides referral information for treatment. More than half a million people each year have been screened for depression since 1991. Spread the Word about National Depression Screening Day – select a news brief to post to your website or email to your community. Organized by Screening for Mental Health:http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/events/national-depression-screening-day.aspx

October 10, 2012 Worldwide Mental Health Day World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues. The Day promotes more open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention and treatment services. The treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders is formidable especially in poor resource countries. Physical and mental health are intertwined. There is a real need to deal with mental health problems of people with chronic physical illnesses and physical care of mental health consumers through a continued and integrated care. Organized by the World Health Organization. See World Federation for Mental Health for annual themes: http://www.wfmh.com/00WorldMentalHealthDay.htm

November 17, 2011 International Survivors of Suicide Day International Survivors of Suicide Day is a day of healing for those who have lost someone to suicide. The third Saturday in November was designated as National Survivors of Suicide Day by United States Senate resolution in 1999 through the efforts of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who lost his father to suicide. Every year, AFSP sponsors an event to provide an opportunity for the survivor community to come together for support, healing, information and empowerment. In recognition of the fact that the problem of suicide know no geographic or national boundaries, AFSP’s event is now titled International Survivors of Suicide Day. For more information see: http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?page_id=fee7d778-cf08-cb44-da1285b6bbcf366e

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