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mental health

Suicide Prevention For Loved Ones

Suicide Prevention For Loved Ones

In my experience working with suicidal adults and in counseling families with children that presented suicidal behaviors, I have seen ways that behaviors escalate and want to share some symptoms and interventions with you.

As a loved one with someone considering suicide there is a need to be vigilant. Truly suicidal people will be eager to learn how, or gain access to resources to help. A loved one that notices someone withdrawal from others, seem preoccupied with harm or death, or has started to avoid things they normally take pleasure in may be depressed and on a path to self-harm or suicide. Previous mental illness or episodes can be a symptom of the potential to take things to an extreme without considering other coping skills or the reality that things can get better.

It may seem counterproductive to discuss suicide with someone that is suicidal, but in fact, if you show that you care very much and are willing to help them through any situation, it can bring some relief to the suicidal person. When death is a potential outcome, embarrassment should not be a barrier.

When I worked in adult mental health, we sometimes used a suicide contract. This is something in writing that defines if a person is feeling like harming or killing themselves, they will call or get in touch with a person first, and that person will answer, no strings attached any time. This may seem like a bit of a gimmick, but sometimes a little time and conversation can be enough to get a person past a dark moment.

Of course is a person is on the edge, they should be seeking or forced to seek some counseling, and may need to be inpatient for a time until they and the family can learn some different coping mechanisms.

Dr. Ethan Gregory 

Written for zliving.com

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http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

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Mental Health And Wellness at University

Mental Health And Wellness at University

The most important thing to realize for anxious parents sending their children off to colleges is that every college and university will offer some level of wellness and mental health services. Schools that offer graduate programs in social work, marriage and family therapy, and psychology will usually have some students working under supervision while gaining experience as counselors.

Schools will have licensed psychologists and social workers to help with one to one therapy, couples therapy and counseling related to physical health and wellness. This is important for most schools, but it may not be well advertised. Students practicing independence for the first time will encounter many opportunities to practice coping skills, and the university is there to offer support if the student seeks it out. The treatment can be free or low cost to help the students that cannot afford private counselors in the community.

If an incoming freshman already has medication and a diagnosis, it would be wise for the family or the student to check out the services available for them. If a student has an issue they should be aware of where to go on campus. Clinics have small pharmacies and can fill prescriptions if a student does not come with a large amount of medication.

Colleges know the stress that higher learning can have on students, and most will offer many free activities to enjoy throughout the week. Most all campuses have wellness and fitness centers with classes for working out or learning about healthy living. These services are also free for students. Dorm residents have organized activities to bring students out of their rooms to interact. Student advisers are available to help students that are feeling academic stress, and can make referrals to other services on campus.

Mental wellness usually involves moderation of entertainment and academics. When one or the other gets out of balance, life might seem more difficult in a campus environment. As parents, we should be checking in with our students but not crowding them. This is their time to experience parenting at a distance and to spread their wings. One thing parents can do to prepare their children is to have them practice the life skills like laundry and budgeting before they leave for school. Cooking and organization should be strange concepts to freshman.

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Dr. Ethan Gregory

Written for LitteMissMomma

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http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

www.facebook.com/drethangregory

Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

Problems For Perfectionists

Problems For Perfectionists

As a counselor for children and families working with international schools, I have my share of perfectionists and those that demand perfection. There is a marked difference in the people that carry the stress of perfection with them compared to others. Higher anxiety towards daily tasks can create physical tension, sleeplessness, depression, and low-self esteem. When perfection borders on obsessiveness, it leads to a combination of physical and mental issues that could require medication and therapy.

 

Reading up on the basics of cognitive-behavioral interventions to reduce anxiety will give some insights into helping perfectionists. Having outside help to let us know that something is good enough can help us change our thoughts about our actions to be more reality based. If we have tasks in our life, we could assign a time to finish and submit it before it can become something to obsess over. Taking time to recognize our triggers for perfectionism and to adjust our frame of mind to understand that our belief might not match the reality is part of conquering any obsessive behavior.

 

Perfectionism is often something that is encouraged by a parent figure with good intentions. It doesn’t take a tiger mom to make a child feel that good isn’t good enough. It can happen in sports activities and academics. Once a child believes they have to do more than what is required, that behavior often carries into adulthood. Without balance in our life our obsessions can become the motivation for how we act.

My pitch (didn't make the final article) Written for medicaldaily

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http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

www.facebook.com/drethangregory

Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess