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Mental Health Awareness

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Masking the pain with drugs and alcohol It started for Tony much in the same way it starts for many teenagers: with a life-changing situation. As a freshman in high school, Tony saw a car hit two girls crossing the street. He started drinking alcohol (“Whatever I could sneak from my parents’ liquor cabinet”) and smoking marijuana. “Many things influence teenage drinkin…

Allison (Ally) Schroeder was 27 and just beginning her dream career as a Buffalo firefighter in 2015 when her brother, Matt, died just a few weeks shy of his 35th birthday. A compassionate person who chose a career as a firefighter because of her lifelong desire to help people, Ally was stunned to learn her brother had died by suicide. She, Matt and their brother Mike grew…

General Links & Resources 2-1-1 www.211wny.org 24 hour health & human services America Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Western New York Chapter www.afsp.org (585) 202.2783 Baker Victory Services www.bakervictoryservices.org (716) 828.9500 Best Self Behavior Health (Formerly Child & Adolescent Treatment Services & Lake Shore Behavi…

Did you know that fewer than 40 percent of those with mental health issues seek help? And those who do seek help wait, on average, eight to 10 years to do so? Mental illnesses don’t improve on their own, and left untreated can worsen, be more difficult and expensive to treat and cause more serious problems. “Many people don’t seek help because of stigma,” says Ken House…

Mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to the community.” According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), however, mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a per…

Nationally, suicide statistics are on the rise: on average, one person dies by suicide every five hours; most by gunshot wound. For every suicide, there are 25 attempts made. It’s estimated those who die by suicide leave behind at least seven loved ones to deal with the loss. In Erie County, however, suicide rates are starting to decrease, a fact Jessica Pirro, LMSW, Ch…

Did you know that while most mental health conditions are treatable, just 40 percent of those struggling with these issues seek professional help, largely due to the stigma—or negative feelings, attitudes and stereotypes—associated with mental illness? That means they’re not only struggling with the symptoms and disabilities of these diseases, but also dealing with the ste…

One of the biggest myths surrounding mental health is that once someone develops a mental illness, they will never recover. In fact, studies show those with mental health problems can get better—many recover completely. There are many forms of mental illness and as with other diseases, there are multiple causes. For example, depression and schizophrenia each have more t…

Nationally, the statistics are alarming: approximately one in five adults experience a mental illness each year, but less than 40 percent seek care. One person dies by suicide every five hours, and for every suicide there are 25 attempts. Fifty percent of individuals suffering from mental illness also struggle with substance abuse, and vice versa. People with serious me…

Jodie Altman Campus director of Renaissance Campus at Kids Escaping Drugs What is the biggest mental health issue facing our community right now, from your perspective? The stigma society places on people with mental health disorders is a major issue in our community. Similar to substance use disorders, no one chooses to have mental health issues. People who are suf…