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Mental health professionals share ways to help with suicide prevention during coronavirus crisis

WAAY-31 spoke with National Alliance of Mental Health Illness about ways to help with suicide prevention.

Posted: May 1, 2020 10:25 PM

Isolation, unemployment and concerns about your own health...it's enough to take a toll on anyone's mental health.

According to the Medical Journal 'Jama Psychiatry', doctors and researchers now fear a spike in the number of suicides as the pandemic continues.

Huntsville Hospital

WAAY-31 spoke with a non-profit organization in North Alabama that's helping people deal with managing the "new normal".

The National Alliance on Mental Health Illness told us their group has actually seen a decline in calls to its crisis hotline...but wants you to know there are simple ways to stay healthy.

They say on sunny days, like Friday, consider going outside or just taking a walk.

"You know invite beauty into your life and make sure you get outside and so make sure you're connecting. Sometimes, it may involve making a phone call to someone you havent talked to in awhile," said Elizabeth Springfield.

Elizabeth Springfield is the president of NAMI.

She told us during this coronavirus outbreak she's worried for people who have dealt with mental health issues before...and those who have never had to deal with certain stress factors before.

Things like loss of job, isolation and staying inside more can trigger feelings to anyone.

But she wants you to know, there's always help available.

"Our message today about mental health is a message of hope. With medication and with other forms of proactive treatment, even pretty severe mental health conditions can be pretty well managed," she said.

Springfield told us it's important to keep an eye on those around you.

She said part of taking care of yourself and loved ones is asking tough questions that can allow counselors to further assess whats going on and help everyone get the help that's needed.

"Are you feeling suicidal, and if you are feeling that way, do you have a plan to act on that, you know what access do they have to means of suicide," she said.

You can check NAMI's Facebook page for ways to help you deal with any newly found stress and know...you have someone there with you.

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