Deaths by suicide have reached an all-time high. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people and the 10th leading cause of death in this country. People are often surprised by this, even though most of us have been touched at some point in our lives by this deeply sad epidemic.  

We know that the shame and stigma of suicidal thoughts are part of the reason why those experiencing it don't reach out. Please start talking about mental health with your family, friends and colleagues. There is absolutely no shame in talking about your depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks and other related symptoms just as there is no shame in talking about your headaches, broken leg, diabetes or heart issues. Let's focus on ending the shame and stigma with mental health and maybe we can stop the growth of this profound contagion.  

Finding a way to self-disclose and talk with others about your symptoms can be difficult. You can start by simply telling someone, "I have been feeling very anxious lately. Do you have any experience with this?" See where the conversation takes you. More than likely, you are going to find that others can relate and you'll start to discover that you're not only alone in the way you feel, but that there is nothing to be ashamed of in having these symptoms. If you want to start this conversation with a professional, please reach out to your Employee Assistance Program and ask to speak with a licensed counselor. We are always here for you.

Posted In:  Behavioral Health EAP

About Heather Ford

Heather Ford is the Director of First Choice Health Employee Assistance Program. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) with a Masters of Clinical Social Work, and a breadth of experience including inpatient and outpatient mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and juvenile probation. Heather previously served as an active duty military social worker for almost 10 years including a deployment in Iraq.