MENTAL HEALTH, just like physical health, plays an important role at every stage of our lives. But what comes to mind first when you hear the words “mental health” or “mental illness?” For many, our first response might be “depressed, irrational, crazy, nuts, or violent.” However, in any given year, approximately 1 out of every 5 people in the United States deals with some mental health related issue. Yet the stigmas surrounding the subject continue to do serious harm to those who are struggling in this way, causing many to never seek treatment.
Similarly, the stigmas surrounding SUICIDE often keep those desperately in need of help from seeking it as well. Suicide’s correlation to mental health is evident, as it has been determined that 90% of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. The latest statistics provided by the American Association of Suicidology reports that in 2017 there were 47,173 reported suicide deaths in the United States: equivalent to a fully loaded airliner crashing every other day. Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and is the 2nd leading cause of death for young adults (15-24) and the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years. A person dies by suicide about every 11.1 minutes in the U.S., with an attempt estimated to be made every 30 seconds. Non-suicidal self-injury continues to be a major health concern as well.
Mental illnesses can be just as, if not more so, disabling than a vast array of other medical conditions. Sadly, many of those who suffer never seek help, and those who do seek help do not always receive treatment. Mental illnesses can be fatal; and those fatalities are called suicide. However, we at Overcoming the Darkness strongly feel that mental illness is treatable and suicide is preventable. In the trainings provided, these issues are approached using a wide range of experience including law enforcement, consumer, and family.
It is the mission of Overcoming the Darkness to reduce stigma, increase understanding surrounding the many challenges of mental health related issues, create a culture that openly discusses the topic of mental illness, suicide and suicide related behavior, and above all proclaim that there is hope and that a level of recovery is available to everyone, so that individuals and families will no longer need to suffer in silence.
Again, we hope that you will take a few moments to look through this site to see if there is a way that we may help you, your organization, department, or community overcome the darkness and shed light on the very challenging issues of mental illness and suicide.