Wendy Martinez Farmer, Beacon Crisis Leader Nine years ago, I was driving home through Atlanta rush hour concerned I would not make it in time to pick up my 2-year-old from daycare. Traffic was heavy and I was already running late after handling a crisis at work. Suddenly, I started experiencing crushing chest pain that radiated down both arms and up into my jaw. Without much conscious thought, I pulled off the highway, turned into a convenience store, bought an aspirin, chewed it and looked at the store clerk and said “please call 911, I am having a heart attack.” Within seconds, bystanders who also seemed instinctively to know what to do stepped in to keep me calm and even contacted…
Trigger Warning: The below blog post is focused on suicide prevention, suicide, and mental healthcare We know from our State of the Nation’s Mental Health Report that in spite of Americans’ increased emotional distress resulting from the pandemic, there is a disconnect between this escalated distress and a flat rate of diagnosis in 2020. Suicide can be the result of an untreated mental health condition. One in four young adults globally are estimated to be experiencing depression in 2020 and 2021, according to a global study published in JAMA. We believe mental health is health. Physical and mental health are linked and must be addressed equally and in tandem for overall, whole-person health. It is critical that anyone thinking about…
Medical Director Dr. Jessica Chaudhary discusses the connection between COVID-19 and rising suicide rates and what can be done about it.
She also discusses how the pandemic has highlighted the importance of behavioral health to whole-person health.
As a mental health professional, two experiences with suicide have stayed with me over time.
The first occurred while working on an inpatient unit. A young woman jumped five stories from a parking garage and survived.
Being a part of the Awesome Beacon Bike Ride has been an incredible privilege, filled with many unexpected gifts.
I have lived in Florida for 17 years, but it was only when planning our routes and then actually pedaling down the road, that I discovered a treasure of scenic towns, spectacular views and parts of the state I did not know or appreciate.
It turns out that almost everything I was taught about suicide during my clinical training is not true.
Contrary to what most clinicians are taught, there is clinical protocol we can follow to prevent suicide attempts – apart from locking people up. Very little of this new knowledge about detecting and treating suicidality has translated into practice.
Today’s culture has embraced an erroneous connection between mental illness and violence, partly due to exaggeration by the media, especially in light of the many mass killings in the past several years. The Sept. 1 post on Beacons Lens that appeared after the on-air shooting in Virginia addressed this very point, stating, “[t]he proliferation of today’s media makes it too easy to draw conclusions that aren’t necessarily based in the evidence, often blurring the line between fact and fiction, a view supported by research.” There is, however, an important caveat to this mix of stereotypes and prejudices: the problem of suicide. The 20th century French writer and philosopher, Albert Camus, asserted that suicide is the one truly serious philosophical problem….