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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts

Opinion: Rural America's Suicide Epidemic

Written By Cicero on 3/11/15 | 3/11/15

Rural America is often seen as the heartland of this great country, with Schoharie County a shining representation of all its hard working ethos and well natured community spirit.

However, if The Atlantic's Julie Beck is to believed, our position might also put us in the cross-hairs for tragedy:
In rural America, where there are more guns, fewer people, and fewer doctors than in the urban U.S., young people are at particular risk of suicide.
A study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics analyzed suicides among people aged 10 to 24 between 1996 and 2010, and found that rates were nearly doubled in rural areas, compared to urban areas.
She stated the aforementioned in her recent piece "The Growing Risk of Suicide in Rural America," an eye opening and question spurring article that addresses several issues we have grown increasingly accustomed to in our own community.

Namely, the county's lack of sufficient employment opportunities and a growing sense among young people of feeling out of place with a population that is rapidly aging. Combine that with a cultural stigmatization and we are in trouble.

The statistical realities are just as disheartening, according to Beck:
Both adults and adolescents are at greater risk of suicide in remote areas of the U.S., according to a 2006 literature review. But suicide is in general more common among adolescents and young adults: It’s the third leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second for people 25 to 34, and the 10th most common among the general population.
So what are we to do? We know Schoharie County isn't immune to this type of tragedy - just last fall a SUNY Cobleskill student took his own life on campus. What is the solution to a problem that can impact anyone from any background?

Well, whatever the solution, it has to begin with the recognition that there is a problem to begin with and that once we can accept that reality, we can let go of a cultural stigmatization that only emboldens a sense of apathy and loneliness.

After that acceptance the rest will fall into place, most of which involves an increase in mental health awareness and societal understanding. I don't think it can be stressed enough that the simple act of understanding can make the difference.

For anyone who is going through difficulties and needs a kind voice to hear your troubles, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and talk to one of their caring counselors, because your life is worth it. 

County Board Passes Anti-Depression Initiative

Written By Editor on 10/21/14 | 10/21/14

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors took a positive step in dealing with emotional trauma. Last Friday, the Board unanimously approved an effort to deal with depression. This was spearheaded by Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith and introduced by Sharon Supervisor Sandra Manko. The text of the resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses, impact the lives of Schoharie County residents on a regular basis, including up to approximately a quarter of the student body at the State University of Cobleskill, and an unknown number of students within Schoharie County's six school districts; and

WHEREAS treatment for mental illnesses, both medicinal and therapeutic, have a high success rate for those afflicted with either clinical or conditional bouts of mental distress, but approximately two-thirds of American students choose not to seek help for fear of embarrassment, of shame, or of the social stigma associated; and
WHEREAS the United States Congress established the first week of October as the National Mental Illness Awareness Week in 1990, and that mental health advocates continued to bring awareness to those afflicted between October 5th and October 11th of this year; and
WHEREAS a collection of local students, government officials, and young adults have joined efforts to form a depression awareness organization, Light the Way, to disseminate information and host events in support of increased education on mental illness with the hope of decreasing the social stigmatization associated with depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, while working to serve as a torchlight of hope, by way of sharing personal stories and providing information and resources to the afflicted, to light the way for troubled souls in the shadows; and
WHEREAS the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors desires to aid those suffering from depression and other mental illnesses in any way that it can.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors hereby declares that it supports the efforts of the County Mental Health Department, Light the Way, and other national, state, and local government agencies and organizations to bring continued awareness to mental illnesses both in and outside of Schoharie County.

SUNY Cobleskill Hosting Mental Health Guest Speaker October 7th

Written By Editor on 10/3/14 | 10/3/14

In the aftermath of the tragic suicide of a SUNY Cobleskill student on Sunday, the college is hosting a guest speaker on mental health issues. The October 7th event starts at 7pm in Bouck Hall and features speaker Colleen Coffey. According to the college, she will speak about "mental health issues, suicide prevention, and stigma reduction."

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