Six Must-Know Facts about Suicide Causes and Prevention

six-must-know-facts-about-suicide-causes-and-preventionSuicide 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.[1]

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

Depression: Hard Facts About a Common Struggle

National Suicide Prevention hotline:  800-273-8255

It’s about as prevalent as asthma, but often it’s spoken of far less openly. A 2017 study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that over 17 million American adults had experienced a least one major depressive episode in the past year. Also know as major depression, this condition is characterized by feelings of sadness or loss of interest for at least two weeks, and it can severely impact a person’s ability to function.

Misconceptions about what depression is and how it can impact a person’s mind and body can prevent those who are struggling from seeking help as well as invalidate their suffering. The hard facts to follow are a good starting point for understanding this mental health challenge and coming alongside those who wrestle with it. Continue reading

Help Wanted: Resource Center Coordinator

Jessy Watford, Community Relations Coordinator from Superior HealthPlan, with Alice Zaccarello, Executive Director of The Well

At The Well Community the interdependency between mental health and physical health is obvious every day. This connection can’t be overstated (see An Interconnected Challenge: Physical Health in the Shadow of Mental Illness). That’s why The Well offers holistic care for its members.

In addition to addressing emotional needs such as isolation, depression or loneliness, The Well serves its members’ spiritual, cognitive and physical well-being.

In order to address hygiene, nutrition and clothing/bedding concerns, a new Well Resource Center has been created. Water bottles, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, healthy snack food, masks, body wash, shoes and lightly used jackets are just some of the items available to members as needed. Continue reading

An Interconnected Challenge: Physical Health in the Shadow of Mental Illness

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

Seven Ways to Support Family Caregivers

When someone has cancer or is experiencing another health issue, friends and extended family members often surround that person and his or her household with support in the form of everything from meal delivery to assistance with rides to cards of encouragement. However, when the challenge at hand is a mental health struggle, the response is often quite the opposite, and many times family caregivers are left feeling alone and overwhelmed.

Families impacted by mental illness desperately need the support and assistance of a caring community! Thankfully, there are many ways friends and extended family can help, providing a lifeline to caregivers. Continue reading

Always More to Know

Mental illnesses are complex, affecting each person impacted by them in a unique way. Thus, there’s always more to know about what it’s like to live with mental health conditions and how to come alongside those who must navigate the daily challenges of dealing with these illnesses.

Since 1949, when Mental Health America established Mental Health Awareness Month, May has been a time of special focus on increasing understanding of mental health challenges. As a faith-based organization serving adults living with severe mental illnesses, The Well Community particularly wants to help bring awareness to churches, clergy and lay leaders about mental health and faith during May. Continue reading

Praying for Families Impacted by Mental Illness

The following is posted with permission from the Sparks of Redemptive Grace website. This prayer guide is available for purchase as a booklet or e-book.

31 days, 31 ways, 2 pray 4 families

By Catherine P. Downing

“Pray for us.” 1 Thessalonians 5:25a ESV

Families who walk alongside their loved ones in the labyrinths of mental illnesses are often hesitant to ask for prayer. They might feel others will judge them or their loved one, offer uninformed advice or initiate the gossip chain. But friends who observe or are aware of their journey don’t necessarily need specific details to pray effectively.

Families ALWAYS need God’s provision for themselves and their loved ones in these areas: Continue reading

Seven Principles of Compassion in Action

The Well Community was formed in 2002 as a faith-based organization. As such, we enjoy the fellowship and support of a number of area churches. Many are involved with The Well in a variety of ways. Their members volunteer; their pastors share messages; their worship teams lead worship; their Sunday school classes provide meals; their budgets include The Well. We are so grateful to them! Continue reading

A Firsthand Understanding: Lessons About Mental Health During COVID-19

May is Mental Health Awareness month. We want to help you become more informed, not only about severe mental illnesses faced by our members, but also about how the stresses of COVID-19 can impact your mental health and what you can do about it.

While the mental health ramifications of COVID-19 make this pandemic a crisis in and of themselves, there is a benefit hidden within this monumental challenge: Our society as a whole is becoming more aware of mental health on a personal level and more open to talking about it. As a growing number of people wrestle with their mental health—some for the first time—our culture is gaining understanding of what those living with mental illnesses face day after day, year after year. Below are key lessons that will help shape the future of the conversation around mental health for the better. Continue reading

Holiday Hurdles: Stressors and Pressures That Make the Season Difficult for Those Living With Mental Illnesses

holiday-challenges

Christmastime is a generally a season of joy, but for those living with mental illnesses, it can be laden with challenges. Many aspects of this time of year can make managing a mental health condition even more difficult. In the midst of the festivities, keep in mind these three ways that the Christmas season can be hard for those dealing with mental illnesses. Continue reading