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Mental Health: SAMHSA National Prevention Week

mental health


The theme of National Prevention Week (NPW) is Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow. NPW is brought to you by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); the organization is committed to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. You can take part in the events happening across the country or tune in afterward via recorded webinar.

Today is the first National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day an opportunity to discuss the mental health of older Americans and promote evidence-based approaches to mental health and substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery. If you’d like, you can tune in to an e-conference taking place this morning to learn about the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) and where people can seek treatment. Please click here for more information.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Administration for Community Living, and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging invite you to learn more about older adults struggling with mental illness. Roughly one-in-five older Americans have a mental health and (or) substance use conditions, according to the Institute on Medicine.

Prevention of Suicide

SAMHSA’s daily theme today is “Prevention of Suicide” which ties into National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day. In fact, older adults accounted for 18.2 percent of suicide deaths in 2016 and males 75 or older have suicide rates nearly double of any other age group. Of course, suicidal ideation and attempts are not exclusive to older Americans, given that new research indicates that more teenagers are thinking about and attempting suicide, NBC News reports. While older males are more likely to take their own life than females, girls made up nearly two-thirds of the cases involving ages 5 to 11 and 15 to 17.

“When we looked at hospitalizations for suicidal ideation and suicidal encounters over the last decade, essentially 2008 to 2015, we found that the rates doubled among children that were hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or activity,” Dr. Gregory Plemmons of Vanderbilt University told NBC News. He adds, “We know that anxiety and depression are increasing in young adults as well as adults. I think some people have theorized it’s social media maybe playing a role, that kids don’t feel as connected as they used to be.”

Dr. Laurel Williams, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital, points out that mental illness is present in 9 out of 10 cases when a suicide occurs, according to the article. Depression and bipolar disorder are common among those who think about suicide; there is a significant need to encourage young and older people to reach out to mental health services and undergo treatment.

“Over 90 percent of young people that eventually go on to commit suicide have some diagnosable mental health disorder,” said Dr. Williams. “A young person has a mental health problem, let’s say depression. Then an external stressor, let’s say at school or at home, will push them over the edge.”

Please take a moment to watch the video below:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

If you have suicidal ideations, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Mental Health Treatment

If you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental illness, please contact Christians Drug Rehab to learn more about our program. Our dedicated team can help you break the cycle of addiction and manage any co-occurring mental health condition.