Mental Health Resource Roundup, Installment 3

Walking Softly to Heal: The Importance of Community Readiness

In collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Tribal and Technical Assistance Center (SAMHSA TTAC), SPRC has developed resources to help suicide prevention practitioners understand and measure a community's readiness to address suicide, and use that knowledge to stimulate change. They include a video, a list of recommended resources, and next steps for community success.

Planned and Impulsive Suicide Attempts

A study in South Korea revealed differences in people who planned suicide attempts compared to those who attempted suicide impulsively. About 13 percent of the sample had made a planned attempt, while nearly 87 percent had made an impulsive attempt.

Stopping Suicides on Campus

Scientific American
Colleges and universities across the U.S. are adopting new methods for addressing mental health issues and preventing suicide on campuses. While traditional approaches have focused on awareness, shame reduction, and access to mental health treatment, suicide rates among students have remained high. This has prompted some schools to consider more novel interventions, such as a crisis service smartphone app, mental health screening kiosks, and light therapy boxes designed to reduce depression and seasonal affective disorder. Schools have also erected physical barriers at campus locations, such as bridges and balconies, to prevent suicide attempts. State legislation requiring increased access to mental health and suicide prevention resources on college and university campuses may result in more widespread use of these new approaches in the future.

MASSACHUSETTS: Flying Away from Stigma: Logan Exhibit Displays Stories of Mental Illness

The Boston Globe
A new exhibit at Boston's Logan Airport aims to reduce the negative bias associated with mental illness by sharing the images and stories of those who have been intimately affected by it. A collaboration between the psychiatric institution McLean Hospital and several mental health organizations, "Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Change a Life" displays photographs and interviews with people who have experienced a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicide. Participants, who represent a range of sociodemographic backgrounds, seek to convey the challenges of living with mental illness, but also the opportunities for healing and resilience. Sean Shinnock, who shares his story of living with obsessive-compulsive disorder, said, "I hope that somebody who may be hurting gets a little solace, that they know they're not alone." 

CALIFORNIA: Caltrain Joins Texting Suicide Prevention Effort

Palo Alto Patch
Caltrain has announced that it is partnering with Crisis Text Line to offer crisis services to its riders. In an effort to reduce the numbers of suicide deaths on its tracks, the California commuter rail line will display signs on platforms and trains that promote suicide prevention awareness and provide information about the text line's around-the-clock crisis support services. Crisis Text Line Bay Area Director Libby Craig explained that text messages allow for a greater degree of confidentiality in public settings than phone calls. Texts are triaged based on the sender's risk level and answered by a crisis counselor within five minutes. "We collaboratively problem-solve with the texter and really empower them," Craig said. "These texters know how to help themselves the best. We're just guiding them there."

(Blog content from SPRC)

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