Suicide focus of Nov. 17 mental health program

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Are you or someone you know having trouble doing the things you like to do or need to do because of how you feel – like going to school, work or hanging out with friends? Are you or someone you know having a rough day? Have you or someone you know been feeling down for a while?

Everyone goes through tough times, and no matter how long you’ve had something on your mind, it’s important that you talk to someone about it.

The answers to these questions are often affiliated with mental health. Not indicating that someone answering yes to any of the listed questions, has a mental health illness. However, indicating the importance of knowing and understanding truths about mental health.

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014).”

In 2011, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported one in five American adults experienced a mental health issue, One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression, and one in 20 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

• Eating or sleeping too much or too little.

• Pulling away from people and usual activities.

• Having low or no energy.

• Feeling numb or like nothing matters.

• Having unexplained aches and pains.

• Feeling helpless or hopeless.

• Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual.

• Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried or scared.

• Yelling or fighting with family and friends.

• Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.

• Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head.

• Hearing voices or believing things that are not true.

• Thinking of harming yourself or others.

• Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school.

As part of mental health, researchers review the correlation of suicide rates and mental health awareness. Statistics are alarming, and death by suicide is one of Indiana’s most concerning health issues. However, there is help and hope when communities, parents, and schools join forces to address suicide as a preventable public health problem. Join in a discussion at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 at Peeler Auditorium, 10 W. Hanna St., DePauw University. At this time the group will discuss and learn about the prevalence of depression, what are the signs, overcoming these health issues, and community resources.

Guest speaker Greg Allen serves as a certified mental health first aid and crisis prevention intervention trainer for Hamilton Center. Prior to joining Hamilton Center, he served in the United States Army as an infantry platoon leader and was awarded a Bronze Star for his services. This program is in partnership with Purdue Extension, Mental Health of America-Putnam County and Hamilton Center Inc.

For more information visit the homepage at or contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 653-8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 17 -- Dessert 101, Area 30, 9 a.m.

Nov. 17 -- Mental Health Awareness program, 6 p.m., Peeler Auditorium.

Nov. 19 -- Healthy eating and couponing lesson, 10 a.m.

Nov. 24-25 -- Office closed for Thanksgiving.

Nov. 28 – Simplifying Your Life webinar, noon-1 p.m., register at

Dec. 5 -- Putnam County PARP, Fairgrounds, 1-4 p.m., $10 for certification.

Dec. 9 -- Technology in Ag, Hendricks County Fairgrounds, 10 a.m-2 p.m. Register by Dec. 2 at 317-745-9260.

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