Preventing suicide is today's theme for #CTPreventionWeek and an important goal of Mental Health Awareness Month. We're sharing new resources for supporting mental health, coping with crisis, & finding behavioral health treatment.
1. Let's start with some facts about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline & Crisis Text Line, along with risk factors & warning signs:
(Get more info on our suicide prevention page here.)
While the COVID-19 pandemic has not at this point led to an increase in suicide, it is increasing people's anxiety & depression. It's important to address those issues before they get worse.
2. Hotlines are there as a line of defense for those who recognize that they (or a family member) are in crisis. The latest hotline is targeted to healthcare workers, EMS, and other first responders in the epidemic. Check it out, along with our summary of other critical numbers:
2. We all need to be on the lookout for those who are struggling but not getting help. The new "Whatever Gets You Talking" video from Seize the Awkward & the Ad Council shows how (please share!):
If you ask someone how they're doing and they tell you they're thinking of suicide, it can be scary. Here's a #realconvo guide from AFSP on what to do and say and downloadable resources on Navigating a Mental Health Crisis from SMI Adviser and NAMI, along with a graphic that summarizes first steps:
3. A huge protective factor is personal connection and support. Peer support adds an extra dimension: talking with someone who empathizes because they have walked the same walk. Here's Jeff from RockingRecovery.org talking about giving and getting peer support and explaining options:
Check out our COVID page for a list of warmlines & other resources, and our calendar of online supports for ways to access peer support. (Click on "agenda" view.)
4. Professional counseling can make a huge difference for those in a mental health or addiction crisis. If you know someone who is struggling with substance misuse, the mental health challenges of COVID19 may make it worse. (Up to 1/3 of overdose deaths are suicides.) Here are Maggie from Liberation Programs and Jeff from CT Counseling Centers talking about available services during the pandemic:
And in case you missed it, here are Kate (a therapist) and Marcea (a client) discussing what virtual therapy is like:
If you've never worked with a therapist, check out the videos on our treatment page on how to get started with finding a therapist and what to expect from therapy.
Mental health month is the perfect time for us all to share openly with others, reach out to others, make use of online supports, and share resources. Each week this month, we're sending out a newsblast with videos, info, and resources & asking YOU to share it with your family, friends, and colleagues. Next week's blast will be in Spanish. Please help disseminate the info -- sharing is caring!
Read on for the events that are coming up & more great resources:
SUD Care Continuum ECHO: May 18, 12-1:15pm, by Project Echo - RSVP here
Growing Challenges of Substance Use, Treatment & Recovery During COVID-19: May 18, 2-3pm, by the NIHCM Foundation - Register here
Trauma-informed Care for Yourself and Your Team During COVID-19: 2-part Crisis Workshop Series: May 18, 2-3:30pm, register here and May 27, 2-3:30pm by National Council for Behavioral Health - register here
GET REAL - Mental Health in the Media (New online series aimed at young adults): May 19, 12pm by My Friend Abby with Ann Nyberg from News Channel 8 - Sign up at myfriendabby.org
Community Feedback session for Southwest CT residents to provide input into state health improvement priorities - May 20th, 10-11:30am, by DPH - Register here
Free Recovery Webinar: Recovering from Relapse - How to Get Back on Your Feet: May 20, 12-1pm or 6-7pm, by the Renfrew Center - register here
Hidden in Plain Sight - by TPAUD, May 20, 6:30-8pm - sign up here
Preventing Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse: May 22, 12pm by High Focus Centers - RSVP here
Ethics for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Professionals: Standards and New Considerations in a Telehealth World: May 26, 12pm by Newport Academy - RSVP here or attend here
Successes and Challenges in Adapting Social Marketing Campaigns during Social Distancing: May 28, 9:30-11am by TTASC - RSVP here
NAMI Connecticut book chat (see image above): May 28, 6:30pm, by NAMICT - get event link here
Featured resources & stories to check out:
The Ten Percent Happier app is free to essential workers during COVID and also has great free COVID resources here
Seize the Awkward offers youth & young adults resources for dealing with mental health during coronavirus here
AFSP offers #RealConvo guides on how to talk to someone about mental health, including guides for someone who is thinking about suicide and a suicide loss survivor
Partner agencies launched the Mental Health Coalition today! Check out their #HowAreYouReallyChallenge. Share stories of hope, healing and resiliency and watch celebrity spotlights
New DCF guidance sheet with resources and support for families
LA Times article on preparing for COVID mental health effects on kids
NY Times article, "What I've learned from being off my anxiety meds in a pandemic"
MADD recorded webinar for parents & teachers: "Weed Out Fact from Fiction about Underage Alcohol and Marijuana Use"
New website for Sunny’s Story - a compelling true story empowering youth to be drug-free.
Wellness activity of the week:
This #turningpointmoment shows Ella using a calming technique that's good for panic attacks. (Also helpful for exercising your lungs during COVID!)
Your friends at The Hub: Amy, Eliza, Ella, Giovanna, Margaret & Rai
If you or someone you know needs help:
Visit our treatment page to take an online screening or find a local provider, or check out warmlines and virtual support groups on our COVID page and calendar, or call one of the state's 24/7 hotlines (see flyer above).
Want your mental health or substance use event included in our regional calendar and email blast?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the JPG of any event flyer that you would like us to share in future blasts such as this.
To add your event(s) directly into our regional calendar please send a calendar invite to email@example.com.
To receive this blast, please subscribe to thehubct.org