Stay mentally healthy during Suicide Prevention Awareness month

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WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and for many of us these are even more stressful times with a pandemic and our kids in school.

One goal for this month is to end the stigma around mental health and to save lives. 

Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director Perry G. Stanley says suicide is more common than you would think. 

“Suicide is one of the major killers.”  

Perry G. Stanley – Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist

It’s the second leading killer among young people which is made worse by going back to school during a pandemic. 

“They’re isolated and not able to be with their friends.  Not able to enjoy and participate in the extracurricular activities that they’re used to.” 

Perry G. Stanley – Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist

The pandemic’s isolation amplifies everything. 

“This is a time where people who have symptoms, tend to have increased symptoms.” 

Perry G. Stanley – Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist

…but that has not been the case for everyone. 

“There’s actually been a 6% decrease in suicide in the early months of the pandemic.” 

Perry G. Stanley – Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist

He said the research is not fully complete, but not all demographics are seeing that decrease.  

One way to help someone suffering is to pay attention to those around us.  

“I think we need to look for people who begin to socially withdraw.” 

Perry G. Stanley – Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist

That could be isolating themselves from family and friends, changing their daily routine, or even just staying in their bedroom more often. 

Going through your feelings can make a world of difference. 

“Talking to our loved ones about are you having thoughts of killing yourself, frees up the atmosphere and the environment and it feels like they have a person that they can talk to where its safe.” 

Perry G. Stanley – Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist

Stanley has a couple of simple tips for anyone that is feeling depressed, anxious, or just a little blue. 

“Reach out.  Talk to somebody.  Try not to isolate.  Stay in contact.” 

Perry G. Stanley – Northwood Health Systems Clinical Director and Licensed Psychologist

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call the Northwood Crisis Hotline at 304-234-3583 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

And if you don’t feel comfortable talking over the phone, you can text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected with a counselor.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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