By Nzinga Harrison, M.D.

February 22, 2016, 9:49 am

 
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Yesterday, I did #AskAPsychiatrist about SUICIDE.  I was compelled to do this topic because in less than three weeks, I was touched by suicide five times.  I became overwhelmed thinking about the secrecy and isolation we force on people with Depression — and afterwards on the loved ones of those who have died from suicide.

One Facebook post in particular, posted by the parent of one of my kids’ friends, drew my attention to #MeToo.  Two simple words that can save someone’s life.  Basically — you’ve had depression?  #MeToo.  You’ve thought about dying? #MeToo.  Your family member committed suicide?  #MeToo.  Two simple words that can remove the pretense that suicide doesn’t happen.

I start this #AskAPsychiatrist with these facts:

  1. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  2. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in ADOLESCENTS
  3. 36,000 people die from suicide each year in the United States
  4. For every person who died from suicide, 10 to 40 other suicide attempts were made.  That equals nearly 1.4 million suicide attempts being made each year in this country.

What do these facts mean?  They mean YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

All of these are heartbreaking statistics that we need to get our arms around.  So I am calling for a movement to decrease the stigma of depression and the stigma of suicide so we can put our arms around our people when they need it most — and have someone there to put their arms around us when we are the one in need.  I hope you will watch and share widely.

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I’m happy to say that this is the best attended #AskAPsychiatrist ever. I think that means a lot of people are having experience with suicide and need to talk about it. If you or someone you know needs help with depression and thoughts of suicide, you can get it 1-800-273-TALK.

This original post can be found in its entirety on my website www.nzingaharrisonmd.com


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About The Author

A well-respected physician and educator, Dr. Harrison is the Chief Medical Officer for Anka Behavioral Health Inc. and serves as the Official Campaign Psychiatrist for the national Let's Get Mentally Fit! campaign. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with Spanish and Chemistry minors at Howard University, completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and General Psychiatry Residency at Emory University. She is Board-Certified in Adult General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Currently, she holds adjunct faculty appointments in both the Nell Hodgson Emory School of Nursing and Morehouse School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. She is wife to a stock market day trader, and mother to two sons, aged eight and nine, a combination that makes for plenty of funny stories to be shared at cocktail parties.

A well-respected physician and educator, Dr. Harrison is the Chief Medical Officer for Anka Behavioral Health Inc. and serves as the Official Campaign Psychiatrist for the national Let's Get Mentally Fit! campaign. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with Spanish and Chemistry minors at Howard University, completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and General Psychiatry Residency at Emory University. She is Board-Certified in Adult General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Currently, she holds adjunct faculty appointments in both the Nell Hodgson Emory School of Nursing and Morehouse School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. She is wife to a stock market day trader, and mother to two sons, aged eight and nine, a combination that makes for plenty of funny stories to be shared at cocktail parties.

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