WACO, Texas — Mental health has been the main focus for health experts over the past few months due to the pandemic and now they want you to be aware of the signs as well.
Nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide every year, which is why health experts are pushing for communities to be educated about mental health.
“We want to instruct ways to approach these individuals and learning about mental health,” said Chad Pack with Mental Health First Aid Outreach.
My Health My Resources is offering mental health first aid courses so that the community can learn more about the signs of a mental health disorder and be able to step in.
“The things that lead up to a suicide attempt, the things that lead up to self-harm, we don’t want to wait until something happens to step in, we want to notice the factors before it that lead up to it so that we can prevent those attempts from happening,” said Katie Chadwell, Child and Adolescent Therapist with MHMR.
The course covers the common signs of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and as well as how to help a loved one who may be struggling.
“We go over early signs and we also go over the worsening signs and how we can approach these individuals and most importantly, how to be direct,” Pack said.
And according to Pack, it is those who are closest to someone struggling that can help the most.
“We ask that you take that extra step that most other people wouldn’t and you can approach them in a way that you know that would open up to you and you feel like they would open up to you more,” Pack said.
According to Chadwell, while mental health disorders have increased the important conversations have diminished.
“What I've noticed is that the longer we go into this pandemic, the more 'normal' it becomes and so these conversations are kind of happening less and less,” Chadwell said.
MHMR encourages anyone to take the courses and hopes that more people become aware of the importance of mental health and could even one day help save a life.