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National Youth Suicide Prevention Week

By Katelyn Millinor, LPC

Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 10-24? Youth suicide statistics cannot be ignored as they have greatly increased over the last decade. Ten teenagers out of 100,000 decide to commit suicide. Females attempt suicide at a rate of nearly 3x that of males. However, males died by suicide at a rate of nearly 3x that of females. Suicide prevention is a critical health topic for young people in the U.S.

What youth are more likely to die by suicide?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (also known as ACES) can include neglect, abuse, experiencing violence, substance abuse, divorce, incarceration of a family member, or poverty. Experiencing ACES has been shown to negatively affect one’s health and mental health over time and can occur across generations. This is particularly troublesome for youth who have had limited access to health care or mental health care. Youth who have one or more ACES are at higher risk for suicide. Populations are at a higher risk of experiencing ACES include minority groups, low socio-economic groups, and LGBT groups. Native American and Alaskan Indians have the highest rates of suicide by ethnic group.

What are the warning signs?

It is not always possible to notice the warning signs in an those thinking about suicide. Some common signs to look out for include: 

  • Talking or writing about death
  • Expressing hopelessness about the future
  • Withdrawing from family or friends
  • Increased drug/alcohol use
  • Giving away personal possessions
  • Engaging in self-harming behaviors
  • Doing dangerous activities
  • Significant change in mood or behavior

How to support a youth who is experiencing suicidal thoughts:

  1. Talk with the youth about their suicidal thoughts as it can help them process through their emotions. 
  2. Try to acknowledge their feelings, fears, sadness, or pain.
  3. Provide reassurance but do not dismiss the problem. You may ask the youth if they are thinking about hurting themselves or taking their own life, and if they have a plan.
  4. Be sure the youth does not have access to any lethal weapons or medications and immediately inform adults or caregivers. 
  5. Try to avoid panicking or offering too much advice. 
  6. Provide the crisis line(s) and assist them to call if necessary. 

Professionals such as the counselors or psychiatrists at NOAH are great resources for ongoing support and safety planning.

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741)
Maricopa County Crisis Line: 602-222-9444
Teen Life Line (Call or Text): 602-248-TEEN (8336)

Should I Enroll in Counseling? by Andres Jaramillo, LPC

“TV, movies and social media often portray only certain people going to meet with a mental health professional leading people to think they have to experience some kind of crisis, be on the edge of a breakdown or feel “crazy,” to get yourself into counseling but that is just not true.”

Andres Jaramillo, LPC

It is unacceptable that we think counseling is just for those extreme cases and need to remember that practicing good mental health habits is just as important as taking care of your physical health. One often overlooked way to take care of your mental health, is to reach out for help.

Adapted from an article published in “Psychology Today”, here are five signs to help you decide if you should seek counseling: 

  1. Feeling “not yourself” – We all have times where our mood is “off,” and we turn to things that help us feel better but when we begin to think, “this isn’t like me,” you may need to take a closer look. Sometimes we feel sad, angry or annoyed with things that happen but when it gets to a point where you conclude that this is out of your ordinary, it could be something more than just everyday emotions.
  2. You can’t do the things you like to do – Having hobbies or activities that you love to do can be a great way to balance your mental health, but it is important to look for signs that the way you are feeling is making it difficult or impossible to do them anymore. Again, if it is unlike you and you find it more and more difficult to get out, have fun or be social then you should reach out to get screened or assessed for possible mental health concerns.
  3. Using drugs, alcohol, food or sex to feel better – Just like having hobbies that can help us feel better, sometimes we engage in unhealthy habits to do the same thing and that is never a good idea. If you find yourself using drugs, alcohol, food or sex to feel better, have the desire to cut back, or it is impacting your daily life then beginning counseling could be helpful to make sure you reduce the long term negative effects.
  4. You’ve lost someone or something important to you – Perhaps your family or culture has certain rituals, traditions or expectations when it comes to the death of a loved one. Human beings adapt very well and sometimes your natural supports are all you need to get through loss, but other times, it could be a good idea to reach out for counseling for support with adjusting to the unexpected change. Remember, loss isn’t just about death. It could be a separation or break up, moving, or losing your job.
  5. Something traumatic has happened – Trauma can be any event that you thought was awful, scary or threatening like an accident, injury, sudden death, abuse, violence or natural disaster. Experiencing events like these are linked to a higher risk of substance use, chronic health problems, and mental health disorders like depression or anxiety. The sooner you reach out for help to get through events like these the better you will be, but remember it is never too late.

If you, or anyone has thoughts or feelings of wanting to hurt themselves please reach out as quickly as you can. Remember, through reaching out for help you are just taking care of your mental health, and taking care of your mental health is just as essential as taking care of your physical health.

PTSD Awareness Month by Katelyn Millinor, LPC

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (known as PTSD) is when a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying or traumatic event. Most people experience short term symptoms associated with PTSD such as trouble sleeping and flashbacks. This is known as an acute stress reaction and these symptoms will typically subside within a few weeks. However, in some individuals these symptoms can last much longer, even years. 

Long term symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Reliving aspects of the event that happened.
  • Feeling on edge or overly alert.
  • Avoiding memories or feelings and difficult beliefs.
  • Experience hyper vigilance.
  • Nightmares.
  • Physical symptoms.
  • Difficulty with relationships, education, or employment.

A wide range of events can lead to symptoms of PTSD such as:

  • Car crash.
  • Assault or abuse.
  • The death of a loved one.
  • War.
  • Surviving a natural disaster.
  • Diagnosis of a life-changing medical condition or any other event where you fear for your life.

If you are an individual that may be experiencing PTSD, consider the following strategies: 

  • Get to know your triggers.
  • Confide in a friend, family member, or professional when you are ready.
  • Try peer support groups online or in person.
  • Keep up with your physical health.
  • Find specialist support such as a counselor or psychiatrist.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol to cope with difficulty feelings.

There are many behavioral health treatments available for individuals experiencing PTSD or PTSD symptoms such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). A behavioral health professional can help an individual process trauma in a healthy and effective way. There are also medication options to assist in alleviating symptoms. You and your behavioral health team can work together to decide which treatment will work best for you. NOAH has a team of medical and behavioral health professionals to support you on your journey to healing.

June is World Infertility Month by Katelyn Millinor, LPC

Infertility is defined as the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year.

World Health Organization

June is World Infertility Month. This topic can be difficulty for people to deal with but millions of women and men deal with infertility, and mostly in silence. The CDC reports that 12.7% of women 15-49 years of age have received some type of infertility service. It is important to stay educated on risk factors and strategies to help manage the emotions associated with infertility.

Many risk factors for both male and females are the same while others are gender specific. Infertility is not solely a women’s issue as about 30% of infertility cases involve male factors.

Risk factors for women include:

  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma etc.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Age.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Fallopian tube disease.
  • Endometriosis.

Risk factors for men include:

  • Cigarette or marijuana use.
  • Hernia repair.
  • Certain prescription drugs for ulcers or psoriasis.
  • Undescended testicles.

Infertility can often create one of the most distressing issues for couples. Infertility brings to light deep emotions while dealing with the multitude of medical decisions and the uncertainty that follows. Feeling depressed, anxious, or isolated are only a few of the emotions in the process of pursuing infertility or infertility treatments. The journey can be very hard.

If you are struggling with infertility consider the following tips:

  • Give yourself permission to be angry.
  • Allow your partner to cope and feel differently than you.
  • Improve your communication about infertility.
  • Improve relaxation skills such as deep breathing.
  • Try a support group (consider Resolve.org).

Consider discussing this with a mental health professional to clarify thoughts and help with decision making. Counseling may be helpful for learning how to cope with physical and emotional changes, communication with your partner, and to strengthen coping skills to manage moving forward. NOAH is here to help. Our counselors and medical staff are here to support you through your journey of infertility.

Signs and Symptoms of Poor Emotional Health

Mental and emotional illness does not discriminate. It does not care how much money you have, where you live, your age, or the color of your skin. It effects all shapes and sizes of people all over the globe. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team in the event that you or your child are struggling. We are here to help!

Please reach out to us if you or your child experience:

  • Consistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • More than usual irritability, anger, aggression or hostility
  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities that you used to love
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Unusual restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Excessive fatigue or lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating due to racing thoughts
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Self-Mutilation (e.g. cutting / burns)
  • Declining grades in school or performance at work
  • Substance abuse, including alcohol and drug (illegal and legal drugs) use
  • Neglect in hygiene and other matters of personal appearance
  • Emotional distress which brings on physical complaints (aches, fatigues, migraines, etc.)
  • Risk taking behaviors
  • Suddenly giving away favorite belongings or promising them to friends and family members
  • Extreme cheerfulness following periods of depression
  • Expression of bizarre or unsettling thoughts

At NOAH, we offer behavioral health consulting and traditional outpatient counseling programs and services where these highly skilled and trained behavioral health staff work alongside our medical and dental teams to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our patients.

Mental Health in Teenagers by Dr. Debbie Bauer, Pediatrician

Adolescence is a very difficult time for everybody, kids and parents alike. Teenagers are going through all kinds of changes such as: physical, emotional, intellectual and social. It can be hard to keep up with the way their feeling and finding ways to communicate with them. It’s a big challenge to try and not feel overwhelmed during these transitions. It’s very normal for a teen to feel moody, sad, or anxious, but when these feelings take over their life and start to affect how they think and act, it can become a serious problem. Mental health issues are much more common than you may think, about 1 out of every 5 adolescents has had a serious mental health disorder at some point in their life.

What parents need to know:

  • A mental health issue isn’t anybody’s fault. Just like with any other health complication, this is not a choice, it’s an actual problem with how the brain functions. The reason these issues develop is incredibly complicated and involves both genetic and environmental factors.
  • Mental health problems are common and treatable. There are many people and resources that are available to help your teenager. From pediatricians, to school guidance counselors, to mental health professionals – we’re all here to help. The sooner a concern is raised, the more time we have to address the issue, and get your teen the assistance they need. If you have any doubts, reach out!
  • It’s important to stay involved. Try to build a trusting relationship between yourself and your teenager. They should feel comfortable sharing information with you without fear of always being punished for bad choices. It can be helpful to share decisions that you have made or lessons you have learned from the past. Remember, they are still learning.

Signs of mental illness to look out for:

  • Loss of interest in past favorite activities
  • Sudden personality shifts that seem out of character
  • A sudden and/or dramatic change in grades
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Big changes in sleep habits (more or less sleep then usual)
  • Dramatic changes in eating habits
  • Anything else that you think is concerning about their behavior

If you have any concerns about your teen’s mental health, talk to them. From there, you can schedule an appointment with their pediatrician. At NOAH, we address all aspects of your child’s health including their initial medical assessment. Other services that are available to you and your child include counseling and nutrition.

For more information, please visit:

www.healthychildren.org

Recognizing Psychosis – Video

“Half of all #mentalhealth disorders begin by the age of 14. About 75% begin by the age of 24. Early identification and early #intervention in #children and #youngadults is essential to their current and future mental well-being,” says Mental Health America. Our Care Team at NOAH offers behavioral health consulting and traditional outpatient #counseling. Our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners work alongside #medical and behavioral health to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our #patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!


Understanding Depression – Video

Learn the signs of #depression from our friends at Mental Health America. If you are concerned about your #child and think he or she may be dealing with a #mentalhealthissue, reach out and start a conversation. Our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners work alongside #medical and behavioral health to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!


Understanding Trauma – Video

“Half of all #mentalhealth conditions start by age 14. Understanding how #trauma can trigger mental health issues in youth can help parents, teachers, and young people prevent #crises, says our friends at Mental Health America.” Our Care Team at NOAH offers behavioral health consulting and traditional outpatient counseling. Our Psych Nurse Practitioners work alongside medical and behavioral health to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!

PTSD – Symptoms and Resources.

By: Nancy Dye, MSN, PMHNP-BC | NOAH Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like:
• Combat.
• Natural disaster.
• Car accident.
• Sexual assault. Read more