Suicide is often considered a taboo topic. But, the facts about it are too important to keep quiet. According the the American Foundation for Suicide prevention, 3,891 Texans lost their lives to suicide in 2019.
Each life that’s cut short is one too many. But, knowing the facts about suicide is one of the first steps in breaking the stigma that surrounds it, and in helping those at risk for ending their own lives. Continue reading
Mental health challenges impact far more than the brain. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), individuals living with a serious mental illness have an increased risk for chronic disease—in some cases, a greatly elevated risk. For example, they are nearly twice as likely to develop cardiovascular and metabolic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. And, adding to this struggle are the numerous ways that dealing with a mental illness makes it more challenging to pursue good overall heath.
This interconnected challenge leads not only to lower quality of life, but shorter length of life. NAMI reports that the life expectancy of people diagnosed with serious mental illness is 11-30 years shorter than that of the general population. Continue reading
Who among us has not heard the echoes of isolation? Often a sense of loneliness can overwhelm us. During these times it’s easy for anxiety to rule and fear to hold tight. Those who deal with chronic and severe mental illnesses experience this even more deeply. Stigma, rejection and misunderstanding often force them into a never-easing aloneness. Except at The Well Community.
Here members find the company of others who understand, care and accept. Here those living with debilitating mental health difficulties can be themselves and still belong. Here, through the generosity of donors and the kindness of volunteers, those marginalized by society are encircled by help and hope.
In our 2019 Annual Report we share stories of ways our members find encouragement through community. We tell how they are able to give as well as receive and find opportunities to grow as well as heal. We also provide some facts and figures, in addition to lists of special thanks. Together that information demonstrates how members, donors, volunteers, interns and staff make up the community that is The Well. Continue reading
In our increasingly connected world, isolation and loneliness are becoming more and more common. But, they’re especially prevalent struggles for those living with mental illness, and they can have particularly devastating consequences: Both mental health challenges and lack of connection to others increase a person’s risk of suicide. Continue reading
It’s hard to overstate the weight of poverty in the lives of those dealing with mental illnesses. Poverty can both increase the likelihood that a person will suffer from mental health challenges and make it more difficult for those already living with these struggles to pursue recovery.
Many intertwining factors related to poverty create a tangled cycle for those living with mental health conditions. For example, a serious mental illness can make it difficult for a person to hold down a job. As a result of being out of work, they may be unable to afford healthy food or a bus pass to get to a doctor’s appointment, adding extra hurdles in managing their illness. They may lose their housing, further eroding their ability to pursue stability. And, as they lack the resources necessary to take steps to improve their mental health, they remain unable to work and their condition may become an even greater struggle. Continue reading
For those who live with serious mental health conditions, stigma is constant companion. It follows them like a shadow they can’t escape, defining them by their illnesses in the minds of others and coloring the way they are seen in their communities with misconceptions. It causes them to be avoided or ignored at best, and often leads to discrimination and mistreatment. Continue reading
It’s hard to overstate the impact that caring family members can have in the lives of individuals dealing with serious mental illnesses. Those living with mental health challenges may engage with their families far more than their mental health care providers, and everyday interactions with parents, children, spouses, siblings and other relatives play a pivotal role in helping them pursue recovery. Below are seven things family caregivers can do to support a loved one in their struggle with mental illness. Continue reading
Suicide is an issue the church cannot afford to ignore. In a LifeWay Research study nearly a third of churchgoers said they’d lost a close family member or acquaintance to suicide. Of those, over a third said their loved one attended a church at least once a month prior to his or her death.
Those wrestling with suicidal thoughts and those who love them are in the pews of our congregations. Churches have a great responsibility and opportunity to reach out in compassion to those who are struggling. Continue reading
Almost half of the 60 million people living with mental health conditions in the United States go without any treatment according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). While many factors prevent those suffering from mental health challenges from seeking care, disparities in access to quality, affordable care play a major role. Continue reading
Approximately a million adults in Texas live with serious mental illness, and many of them face numerous obstacles in obtaining the treatment and support they need to manage their conditions. In a 2017 report, the Texas House Select Committee on Mental Health wrote that mental health “is absolutely one of the most critical areas of concern” facing our state. Below are some key points to understand about mental health in Texas, including some major challenges and one big reason to be hopeful. Continue reading