I attended the Veterans Day event in Davidson yesterday. I am not from a military family, so I know I don’t have the full appreciation many others have of the sacrifice, the pride, the worry, the loss, the aftermath. I was moved to tears a couple of times as veterans told their stories from the stage and in personal conversation afterward. Davidson LifeLine recognizes that veterans are at higher risk for mental health challenges and suicide as a result of the service they gave to our country. We are committed to understanding the resources that are available and making sure to get those resources to men and women in need.
Davidson LifeLine On the News tomorrow!
Tomorrow, November 13, at 6:00 pm, Eric Phillips from Channel 9 talks about mental health challenges. He interviewed a number of people for the story, including Peter Niessing, consumer of behavioral health services, Lynn Hennighausen from Davidson LifeLine, and John Santopietro, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Behavioral Health at Carolinas Healthcare System. We are so grateful to WSOC and Eric Phillips for this important work. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Carol Robinson, a Davidson resident and Davidson College graduate with a strong interest in mental health issues. Carol has agreed to be an occasional contributor to the Davidson LifeLine blog. She will be writing reviews of books, movies, and other media. Carol first became aware of the intricacies and challenges of mental health issues when she lost a high school aged sister to suicide some years ago. Her interest has continued as she has experienced chronic, severe depression as well. It is her earnest hope that she can use her experiences to be of help in the community. Take a look at her first wonderful review,
Voices of Depression, by Carol Robinson
Surely if one were to desire a perfectly articulated experience of the phenomenon of depression, he would turn to the pen of a gifted author’s description in order to find one. William Styron, author of Sophie’s Choice and Lie Down in Darkness, has delivered an exquisite account of his own depression in the short but powerful bookDarkness Visible. Styron himself writes, “To most of those who have experienced it, the horror of depression is so overwhelming as to be quite beyond expression, hence the frustrated sense of inadequacy found in the work of even the greatest artists.” Yet Styron has done a beautiful job of describing depression in such a way that those of us who are ill with serious depression can find a voice in his writing.
There are two benefits in finding such a voice. For the sufferer, she knows that she is not alone. Aloneness and isolation are a common experience for those with the illness, precisely because it is so difficult to describe. Others can’t understand, and it is not their fault. In addition, one of the symptoms and curses of depression is an inherent sense of separation from the flow of the human race. Everyone else is living, why can’t I? For the one watching the suffering, the voice of the sufferer, such as Styron, gives a much keener sense of how to help for those who care. It communicates so that others are brought to that place of understanding. This is invaluable to both the giver and the receiver.
“The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come–not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute….It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.” Hopelessness and pain are hallmarks of depression. Styron describes them with a fine-edged pen, making their depiction clean and clear. In Darkness Visible, the one crushed by the illness can find solace in not finding himself alone, and the one deeply desirous of learning more about the true experience of depression can find insight. It is a highly recommended reading for all.
Riding My Way Back: A Story About a Veteran, a Horse, and Hope
Join Triple Play Farm for a screening of the award winning movie: Riding My Way Back: A Story About a Veteran, a Horse, and Hope, in honor of Veteran’s Day. Veteran and Silver Star recipient Tommy Rieman and author of, “The Role of Equine Therapy in the Mental Health Treatment of Veterans is the featured speaker. This event is November 13, 7:00-8:30 at Our Town Cinemas in Davidson. For more information or to reserve a seat, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a very cool story about a high school student. Instead of allowing bullies to get her down, she fought back through kindness. 3M and post-it notes are happy with her response! See her story at WOW! I Can’t Believe a high School student Did this After Being Bullied
Ever wonder what questions to ask if you’re looking for a mental health professional for yourself or your child? Kids in the House has some terrific videos, one of which answers many of those questions. Look at Talking to Mental Health Professionals
Davidson LifeLine Offers QPR
Thanks to the Town of Davidson and Mental Health Association for its support in QPR and to Carolinas Healthcare for its support in MHFA, both of these programs are being offered at no cost to the community.
QPR (Question-Persuade-Refer) next Monday, November 17, 6:0-8:00
QPR is a 90-minute training, created by the QPR Institute for Suicide Prevention, to assist with suicide prevention education for teenagers and older.
QPR training provides three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.
Sign up! QPR the third Monday of the month from 6:30-8:00 p.m and is free of charge. For more information and to register, please click here and look for “QPR” in the program section, or contact Leslie Willis at 704-940-9609 or email@example.com.
Carolinas HealthCare System 24-Hour Help Line
The help line, staffed by masters-level mental health professionals and registered nurses, offers crisis intervention 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The staff can also provide assessments for psychiatric and substance use disorder treatment, make referrals to behavioral health specialists and offer information on community behavioral health resources. Whether you’re a family member or struggling yourself, there is someone to help just a phone call away.