In the U.S., awareness of mental health problems as a common public health challenge has grown. An important example of societal support and awareness of the need for access to mental health services is reflected in the Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) of 1996 and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008.
Blog posts with the tag "Suicide"
Relatively recent research has established sleep problems as an important predictor of elevated suicide risk. Specific aspects of sleep problems that are associated with greater suicide risk are not clear, but insomnia severity, insomnia duration, nightmare severity, and nightmare duration are possibilities. Since there are multiple dimensions of sleep that may play a role in suicide risk, more attention is needed to understand the mechanisms by which sleep influences one’s risk for suicide.
Two years have passed since I publicly discussed my brother’s suicide and how it impacted me in this very forum. It was a huge step for me at the time, disclosing this secret that I guarded carefully. I had the sense that it would be cathartic for me, but I also knew I couldn’t take it back once it was out there. In retrospect it’s one of the most important things I’ve ever done.
When I was an active duty Air Force psychologist, I learned early on in my career the importance of working closely with active duty Chaplains. In fact, Chaplains and behavioral-health providers often served on several base-level committees together focused on community initiatives. We collaborated regularly on population health-based suicide prevention efforts and crisis response following traumatic events, as well as taught relationship enhancement workshops together. I believe that caring for our Service members takes all hands on deck (to use a Navy saying).
My first professional experience with suicide occurred over 20 years ago. The suicide was not one of my clients, but was someone many felt they knew and his death had a huge impact on my professional life. In 1996, I had just moved to Yokosuka, Japan to work as a counselor on a Navy base. It was my first job working for the Navy and I was excited to support Sailors and their families in an overseas environment. At the time I had been out of graduate school only a few years. I was seeking an opportunity to have a positive impact and felt I had the skills and experience to do that on the Navy base.