'Mental health tsunami' underway as health and social issues continue

Photo Source: Pixabay / MGN
Photo Source: Pixabay / MGN(KALB)
Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 3:17 PM CDT
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Psychological trauma has risen nationwide with events such as COVID-19, police brutality and rising unemployment rates continuing.

Suicide rates have also begun to rise in the community. ComCare of Sedgwick County reported a spike in recent rates after nine people died by suicide in the last two-and-a-half weeks. Eight of whom were men. There has also been a rise in suicide attempts in adolescents and teenagers.

According to the Executive Director of ComCare Joan Tammany, psychological distress sets in two to three months after the initial trauma has occurred.

"I want to make sure we as a community are recognizing that many people are struggling in this difficult time and many are doing so in silence or they're turning to alcohol and drugs to cope," Tammany said. "They may see themselves as a burden to family and friends, they may not ask for help. I'm here today to say there's no shame in a position of struggle, there's no shame in asking for help and there's no shame, embarrassment or worry on asking someone if they're struggling with suicidal ideation."

Tammany said ComCare was expecting to see a rise in mental health problems but it is saddening to see it occurring so rapidly. She assured that ComCare is working with its community partners to begin an awareness plan on the issue.

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts or feelings of suicide, the ComCare Crisis Center is open 24/7. They can be reached at 316-660-7500.

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