The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention presented a webinar this last week on Mental Health and COVID-19. The speaker was Josh Rivedal, a suicide prevention speaker.
Josh referred to the fact that 20% of the population deals with mental health issues, but only 1/3 get help for those issues. Mental health issues need to be managed just like you would manage diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, and kidney problems.
Mental health issues can stem from experiences in childhood, whether abuse, sexual assault, suicide in the family, or neurotransmitter imbalance. Family secrets can also lead to mental health issues, as these have not been addressed and are internalized.
So, what is mental health? Mental health is “A person’s psychological and emotional wellbeing.”
All of us will experience failure during our lifetime, but we need to look at failure as a lesson on the way to success according to Josh. Josh also mentioned the value of service to others. This helps to take us out of ourselves and helps us focus on others.
I went through a period of depression about 6 years ago. The depression was very deep and I had the experience one day of thinking, “I understand why a person would kill themself.” I shocked myself when I thought this. I have never had a suicidal thought in my life but I could not see a way out of the depression. I had been on medication for about a month but obviously needed an adjustment. My husband, at this point, told me that I needed to see a therapist. I went to Christian therapist for about 6 months. Between the medications and the therapy, I came out of the depression. Thank the Lord! I still take medication for depression and probably will the rest of my life. I look at it as managing my depression, like Josh mentioned in the webinar.
It has been challenging being home during the pandemic. I derive much of who I am by what I do as a nurse and now I’m not doing that. I’m doing tele-monitoring/medicine but not hands-on nursing. Big change. I do love talking to clients and to the shut-ins from my church. Much of our conversation centers around what they are doing to remain mentally active.
If you find that you are feeling depressed please call your doctor, but if you are having thoughts of suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention's Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Their website https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ has many resources also.