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Use 2-1-1 To Find Out About Local Resources

In papers across the nation yesterday, a dear friend to many, the woman known as Abby as in Dear Abby (aka-Pauline Phillips) shared a valuable resource, the availability of 2-1-1. When dialed, this phone number connects you with an operator that can guide you to local resources for a variety of needs. Make sure you and others know about 2-1-1. Find the excerpt below.
DEAR ABBY: We are writing in response to the question you printed (Jan. 13) about where to find affordable counseling. Your suggestions were helpful, but we want to share another one:
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that, where available, connects people to information about critical, free or low-cost health and human services in their community. 2-1-1 reaches about Read More »

First Lady Michelle Obama Supports Mental Health First Aid

The time is now to create a new story in America about mental health, mental illness and wellness. The “Change Direction” initiative was inspired by the White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, which came on the heels of the Newton tragedy.
The purpose of the campaign is to:

B_XpIAUUgAAsEnffree us to see our mental health as having equal value to our physical health
encourage us to recognize the signs of emotional suffering in ourselves and others
spur us to care for our mental well-being and the mental well-being of others

To learn more about this national campaign, the purpose, pledges, history, and current story, Read More »

Facebook Attempts Suicide Prevention

Staying connected increasingly involves digital media these days, facebook, linked in, twitter, the options are plenty. For some struggling individuals, social media can represent a way to share the pain they are experiencing with the world around them. As this has become more prevalent, Facebook has decided to take a more proactive role. Excerpt below:
“If a facebook user views a post that seems to hint at self harm, they will now be able to contact the friend who made the post, contact another friend for support or contact a suicide helpline.”
To see Facebook’s exact plans, read the full article at the Huffington Post.

Military Veteran Peer Network Begins It’s Mission

Veterans, servicemen and women, and their families across our region can now find support at the local Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN). This network is housed at 3003 North Medford Drive and headed up by Volunteer Coordinator, Jeff Headrick, himself a former Marine (no exaggeration).
MVPN was recently featured in an article in the Lufkin Daily News. Excerpt below:
The Military Veteran Peer Network is an affiliation of service members, veterans and family members dedicated to providing a safe and understanding network of support with those who have “been there and done that” and developing trusted relationships with others by shared life experiences.
The center also offers networking with local, state and national resources that offer assistance to veterans. Networking resource topics include reintegration, Read More »

Even Oscar Knows…”We Should Talk About Suicide Out Loud.”

On Sunday, February 23, 2015, people around the world celebrated film-making by watching the 2015 Academy Awards Show. Whether you are a fan of the Oscar’s or not, many celebrities use their fame and the world spotlight to draw attention to a cause. Last night was no different. Several causes were mentioned but none more weighty than that of suicide.
Dana Berry, filmmaker of the short documentary Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, used her moment to let it be known that her award was dedicated to her son, Ethan, who passed away due to suicide. Ms. Berry concluded her remarks with, “We need to talk about suicide out loud.” We couldn’t agree more.
That wasn’t the only reference to suicide in the broadcast Read More »

Register Now To Be Part of MISSION POSSIBLE

20th Annual Conference to be held at SFA
The 20th Annual Mission Possible conference will begin Thursday, March 12th, 2015 with a pre-conference event and will conclude with a full day conference on Friday, March 13th, 2015. This marks twenty years of providing an educational and networking experience for providers and the general public who are concerned with mental health services in East Texas. The conference is being held on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in the theater of the Baker Pattillo Student Center in Nacogoches.
There will be a free pre-conference event held on Thursday evening, March 12th, 2015, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the same location. This pre-conference event is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association. Two Read More »

Wear a Silver Ribbon-Reduce Stigma

Mental illness is common in our society. One in five will be diagnosed in their lifetime and yet it is discussed in hushed tones and only when speaking of “others.” This discretion only amplifies the existence of the problem, leaving those dealing with the illness to also deal with keeping quiet about it. We, as a society, must find the strength to meet head on the issue of mental illness. One organization doing just that is the Silver Ribbon Coalition. They ask that all concerned people to:
Wear a Silver Ribbon…srtr_small2
To show you care about brain disorders or disabilities
To help break down barriers to treatment and Read More »

More Pastors Embrace Talk of Mental Ills

We shared an article a few weeks ago about some pastors’ reluctance to address mental health with their congregants. This article in The New York Times features some pastors that are actively seeking ways to help with the mental health needs of their community. Excerpt below:
The pastor’s phone rang in the midnight darkness. A man’s voice rasped: “My wife left me and I’ve got a shotgun in my mouth. Give me one reason why I shouldn’t pull the trigger.”
The Rev. Matt Brogli, a Southern Baptist pastor scarcely six months into his first job, was unnerved. Gamely, he prayed with the anonymous caller, trying out “every platitude I could possibly think of.”
Eventually the stranger assured Mr. Brogli that he would be all Read More »

Mental Illness Remains Taboo Topic for Pastors

An important article about another big challenge in treating mental illness. According to a recent Burke survey, 57% of respondents think their church would be a good place to learn about mental illness. This story suggests that some pastors are not ready to meet that need.
Lifeway researchExcerpt below:
NASHVILLE (BP) — One in four Americans has suffered from some kind of mental illness. Many look to their church for spiritual guidance in times of distress. But a new LifeWay study shows they are unlikely to find much help on Sunday mornings.
Most Protestant senior pastors (66 percent) seldom speak to their congregation about mental Read More »

Column – “Why I Don’t Kill Myself”

We read a powerful column in the New York Times we wanted to share. It’s written by an author named Kim Addonizio who struggles with depression and addiction, and it provides very good insight into what so many people face every day. Here’s an excerpt:
I have a close friend who for many years seriously wanted, and sometimes still wants, to kill herself. She calls me when she feels this way, and I try to talk her down, to tell her the simple truth that things will change; she won’t always want to look for a gun or hoard pills, desperate for a way out. Another friend and I commiserate about when we’re in what we call “the bad Read More »