Fresh + Informative Health News

Check up from the neck up

Ask your doctor for help if you're struggling with mental health.

Article Author: Juice Staff

Article Date:

A nurse converses with a patient struggling with mental health.

Suicide affects people of all ages. According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year, and for every death, there are an estimated 20 attempts.

In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 34 years old.

Stress is on the rise

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the U.S. suicide rate is at its highest since 1941.

“Multiple causes have been attributed to the continuing rise in the suicide rate, including stress from the pandemic and the lingering changes it brought, new chronic health issues, economic hardships, increased gun violence and increased racial and political tension,” explained Rhett Bennie, RN, MSHA, system director of Inpatient Behavioral Health for Baptist Health. “Kids and teens have increasing stress of their own and are at times also living in the presence of their parents’ stress.”

Finding mental health treatment and support

Linda Spadaro, MACP, LMHC-QS, a licensed mental health counselor and Patient Access and Crisis Services manager with Baptist Behavioral Health, said many times a person who’s seeking mental health treatment will first connect with their primary care physician.

“There’s a need for more awareness and wrap-around care with these patients,” Spadaro said. “To help address this need, Baptist Health has developed a Collaborative Model of Care, which integrates psychiatric providers into primary care physician offices, allowing them to be more readily available to patients with specialized mental health screening, treatment and support.”

In addition, Wolfson Children’s Hospital is working to implement suicide awareness and education in all areas of care through a $100,000 grant from the Zero Suicide Institute.

Don't lose hope

Depression can be a chronic stress and trauma-based condition. According to Spadaro, many people today lack the social connection, quality sleep, nutrition and exercise needed to maintain mental and physical wellness.

“When you add in the really hard stuff – a lifetime of abuse or domestic violence, repeated job loss, a hostile divorce or family conflict, loss of a child or chronic pain – on top of the everyday fatigue, we see how people can become overwhelmed and want to give up,” Spadaro said. “One of the hallmarks of depression is hopelessness, so it can be hard to even want to get help. But there are very effective ways to work through the things that cause depression if people open up to a trained helper and let them lead the way. It starts with just one call.”

We're here to help

If you or someone you love is in or at risk of a mental health crisis, call Baptist Health's 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 904.202.7900 or text LIFE to 741741. If there's an immediate safety concern, call 988 or go to the nearest Emergency Center.

Baptist Health’s Collaborative Care Model embeds behavioral health professionals in select Baptist Primary Care offices. To learn more or find a provider near you, call 904.202.4YOU or fill out the appointment request form.

Sources: World Health Organization, National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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