Mental Health Monday - December

Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY by dialing 711 then 1-800-273-8255. All calls are confidential. Dial 911 in an emergency.

Learn more on the NSPL’s website.

SYMPTOMS

All individuals may not exhibit every symptom
These symptoms may indicate depression, particularly when lasting for more than two weeks:

• Poor performance in school
• Withdrawal from friends and activities
• Sadness and hopelessness
• Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
• Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
• Anger and rage
• Overreaction to criticism
• Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals
• Poor self-esteem or guilt
• Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
• Restlessness or agitation
• Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
• Substance abuse
• Sexual promiscuity
• Risk-taking behaviors
• Problems with authority
• Suicidal thoughts or actions

TEEN SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS

• Suicide threats (direct and indirect)
• Obsession with death
• Poems, essays or drawings that refer to death
• Giving away belongings
• A sense of “hopelessness” and/or no
future vision
• Dramatic change in personality or appearance
• Irrational, bizarre behavior
• Overwhelming sense of guilt, shame or rejection
• Significantly changed eating patterns (including drastic weight gains or losses)
• Significantly changed sleeping patterns (especially contributing to school truancy)
• Severe drop in school performance or social interest

ANGER MANAGEMENT

This year has been like no other for students, athletes, coaches and parents. The many changes to school and athletics can understandably set off different emotions, including anger. Anger is a normal emotion which can range from mild irritability to rage. It can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a person (parent, coach, sibling), a situation (not getting to play in a game) or it could be caused by worry about personal problems. Anger can be a helpful emotion; it can give you a way to express negative feelings or motivate you to find solutions to problems. But excessive anger can cause problems, including difficulties with thinking, worsening performance and physical/mental health consequences. Here are a few tips to help with anger:

  1. Be assertive: Learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others.  Being assertive doesn't mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.
  2. Be calm: Try a relaxation breath. STOP, breathe and then decide on your next step.
  3. Use the AIMS app to learn tools such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, thought stopping and time out.

If your child, teen or athlete appear to be struggling with symptoms of anger, stress, depression or anxiety, let them you know you are there to support them. Scheduling an appointment with their pediatrician or family doctor can be an important step to getting them the help they need. Students can also reach out to the Colorado Crisis Line and text or talk with a professional. Text “Talk” to 38255 or call 1-844-493-8255.

Information provided by:
Alex J. Reed, PsyD, MPH
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

RESOURCES

Suicide and Mental Health Resources in your area of the state

APA – Anger

AIMS for Anger Management (App)

For more Mental Health Information, please click HERE.