+
More

A renowned psychiatrist was asked to name the biggest myth about suicide. His response is a must-read.

"What is one misconception about suicide that you want people to stop believing in?"

suicide, myth, signs, psychiatrist, misconception
Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

Renowned psychiatrist debunks the myth about suicide.

This article originally appeared on 09.11.18


If you or someone you know is struggling, know that there are immediate resources available if you're in a crisis. There are many organizations to become familiar with, including the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline , the Crisis Text Line (text "HOME" to 741741), and the Trevor Project 866-488-7386.


Suicide is one of the hardest topics to discuss.

That's why so many of us have such a difficult time recognizing signs of suicidality or responding to them.

Add to that the myths we're told about suicide — "just talking about is dangerous," for instance; or that people who are contemplating suicide always show outward signs — and it becomes even more difficult to navigate. Even as several high-profile celebrity passings, and rising suicide rates re-affirm that the discussion is now more important than ever.


On World Suicide Prevention Day, an expert took to Reddit to make the conversation just a little bit easier.

Dr. Tyler Black is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the Medical Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Department at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, where he's worked with thousands of families during his nine-year tenure.

Aside from the work and research he does at the hospital, Black is passionate about educating others about the science of suicide. And because he knows that the world's got questions, he set up an "Ask Me Anything" to give people a chance to further their understanding of suicide in order to reduce its rates.

One question makes it clear we need to rethink how we view suicide.

When one user posed the question of what one misconception Black wants others to stop believing, the doctor dropped some real knowledge that does away with the belief that only those with serious mental health issues become suicidal:

Probably the biggest would be that suicide behaviour or thinking is only for people with mental illness. Risk factors and protective factors don't work like that. Just like all humans are at risk for heart attack (some, very very very low compared to most humans, some very very very high), all of us have various risk factors that push us towards suicidal thinking and protective factors that push us away. Mental illnesses add to our suffering but so do physical illnesses, stressors, bad news, poor sleep, etc etc. There are hundreds of risk and protective factors that all work in different directions to influence suicide risk.

This misconception, Black explained, allows us to ignore risk factors until they're at crisis levels. It also allows us to not think about suicide until a person shows outward dysfunction. But for many people, suicide isn't often predated by a long period of mental illness.

That's why it's so important for us to be aware of the emotional states of our friends and loved ones, check in on them regularly, and make an effort to be there for anyone we care about.

What can you do to help others? Show up.

One of Black's most important points is this: Often, we undervalue the impact we have in others' lives. We think that psychiatrists are the only ones who can help those who may be contemplating suicide, but as Black notes — mental health professionals are just one piece of the puzzle.

Recognizing that we have the ability to help others, only if it's just by listening, is a powerful way to let those we care about know they're not alone. So if you've been thinking about calling a friend who is struggling, or just saying hi to someone you haven't seen in a while — now's a good time to reach out. Of course, no one's expecting us to single-handedly change a person's entire outlook on life, but making contact can make a huge difference.



Mom absolutely slays when bar band hands her a fiddle.

The devil may have gone down to Georgia, but it appears he took a detour to a bar in Nashville and possessed a middle-aged mom on his way down there.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed 5.5 million times, Olivia Reeth's daughter shared that her family had gone to the Whiskey Bent Saloon in Nashville and was watching the Moonshine Outlaw Band perform. Her mom told the band she played the fiddle, and mid-song, the fiddle player decided to hand his instrument over to her.

You kind of have to wonder what the guy was thinking. Did he imagine she'd be able to keep up with the band? Did he figure she'd play a few bars and then hand it back?

Keep ReadingShow less

This library is where it's at.

Libraries are a vast treasure trove of information, ideas and inspiration. And yet, they often simultaneously seem like the product of a bygone era. Let’s face it, the convenience of the Internet has made it our go-to source of knowledge, causing us to sacrifice analog magic for expediency.

To be sure, libraries have adapted for the modern age by offering digital resources including basic online access that often provide a lifeline for underserved communities. But still, the general consensus seems to be that libraries are stuffy and archaic. This lack of interest, combined with continued budget cuts, pose a real challenge to physical libraries everywhere.

However, one library is actually harnessing the power of the internet to prove just how cool, and yes, hip, these public spaces can be…one hilarious and viral TikTok at a time.
Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Buffalo woman uses social media to save an elderly man's life after he's trapped in the snow

They don't call Buffalo the city of good neighbors for no reason.

Photo by Patino Jhon on Unsplash
vehicles covered in snow

The city of Buffalo, New York is called the "city of good neighbors." And with a blizzard that has dumped more than 50 inches of snow on them, the world is getting to learn how they earned that name.

A woman named Sha'Kyra Aughtry went viral on Facebook after she reluctantly put out an emotional plea. Aughtry went live on the platform explaining that she heard someone calling for help outside, so she sent her boyfriend out to see who needed assistance. Turns out, it was a 64-year-old developmentally disabled man by the name of Joey White, who was stuck in the cold snow. Aughtry's boyfriend helped the man out of the snow and physically carried him into the house.

White was so frozen that they had to use a hair dryer to melt the ice off of his pants that were frozen to him. The couple also had to cut his socks off along with the bags he was carrying, which were stuck to his hands. White was in a dire position and Aughtry, a mom of three preparing for Christmas, was desperate.

Keep ReadingShow less

Florida teacher Yolanda Turner engaged 8th grade students in a dance-off.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Teachers deserve all the kudos, high fives, raises, accolades, prizes and thanks for everything they do. Even if they just stuck to academics alone, they'd be worth far more than they get, but so many teachers go above and beyond to teach the whole child, from balancing equations to building character qualities.

One way dedicated educators do that is by developing relationships and building rapport with their students. And one surefire way to build rapport is to dance with them.

A viral video shared by an assistant principal at Sumner High School & Academy in Riverview, Florida shows a group of students gathered around one student as he challenges a teacher to a dance-off.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

A jetliner that landed in the woods.

Over the past few years, the rising costs of homes and rent in the U.S. has pushed many to seek alternatives to traditional housing. People have been moving into tiny houses, sharing spaces with “platonic life partners” and living the nomad dream in motorhomes.

Some have even opted to take up permanent residence aboard cruise ships because it can be cheaper than paying rent or a mortgage.

One of the most unique, alternative homes in the US is Bruce Campbell’s in Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. According to CNBC, for over 20 years, the retired engineer has called a Boeing 727 200-passenger jetliner home. It’s a little smaller than the average house at 1,066 square feet, but it’s an open-concept lovers’ fantasy.

Keep ReadingShow less
More

Stress is an epidemic among our kids. 7 experts give 8 tips on how to help.

We reached out to experts to see what advice they'd have for parents who think their kids might be struggling with stress or anxiety. Here is what they had to say.

Picture from Burst

Heading back to school can be stressful.

This article originally appeared on 07.28.17


School can be a ton of fun, but for many kids, it can also be a pretty big source of stress and anxiety as well.

A little stress now and then is an unfortunate fact of life, but it seems like kids are more stressed than ever these days. Overwhelming, toxic stress can actually affect how a child's brain grows and develops and can increase the risk for mental health issues later in life.

Keep ReadingShow less