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Welcome September!



September has begun, and the seasons are starting to change from summer to fall. Here in Germany, we have had a bit of fall weather and rain already, but now that is changing back to more summer-like weather. We were able to go out this weekend to the zoo and wore t-shirts most of the day.


Your kids are probably going back to school, and this is a great time to make sure that they are prepared for the new school year with some positive studying tips. It is exciting to see my youngest off to school, walking most of the way to the bus stop by herself. As a mom, it is both hard to see your kids getting independent, and a source of pride in their accomplishments.



Though these two things may not seem connected, but there are many mental health benefits to starting a yoga practice. As you practice yoga, it teaches you not only about physical fitness but about spirituality and mental balance too.


According to Harvard Health,

All exercise can boost your mood by lowering levels of stress hormones, increasing the production of feel-good chemicals known as endorphins, and bringing more oxygenated blood to your brain. But yoga may have additional ben­efits. It can affect mood by elevating levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is associated with better mood and decreased anxiety.
Meditation also reduces activity in the limbic system—the part of the brain dedicated to emotions. As your emotional reac­tivity diminishes, you have a more tempered response when faced with stressful situations.

If you are struggling with depression, or thinking about suicide, yoga can be a great part of your wellness recovery routine. Struggling with suicidal ideation can be difficult for many of us (I go through these periods too!) but as long as you are still alive, there is still hope for a better tomorrow.


When you are having suicidal thoughts, it is important to reach out for support. You can talk to a friend, family member or school counselor. If that is not available, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by simply dialing 988 in the US.


If you are in another country, you can find a list of suicide hotline numbers here.



When you call the crisis hotline, you will speak to a caring professional who can provide the listening ear you need in the moment, as well as resources for moving forward. They can direct you to a local crisis center or emergency room for an intake to get the counseling and care that you need.


In my teen years, I went to the emergency room a couple of times when I was thinking about suicide. They kept me there until they felt like I would be safe, called my parents and talked to them about the situation as well. Then, the next day, I got an intake appointment at a mental health facility.


By going to an emergency center, they can either have you do an inpatient stay right away to help you feel more emotionally balanced, or refer you to an outpatient facility if they feel you aren't a danger to yourself or others. During your stay, you will probably talk to a mental health professional, and may be prescribed medications.


According to Med Circle,

If you are afraid you are at risk of hurting yourself or others, voluntary hospitalization may provide the fastest relief. The ongoing monitoring and structure offers immediate support- and ensures that you aren’t left to make decisions when you aren’t in a healthy state of mind.

It can feel like a frightening thing to have to do when you go to the hospital, but it is also the fastest way to get the help that you need if you are thinking about suicide. Often, if you try to get into a therapist or psychiatrist, you can be put on a long waiting list that may be up to 3 months, in my experience. If you are thinking about suicide, it is important that you get care right away, and aren't waiting that long!


When you feel suicidal, even waiting another day, hour or minute for help can feel like an eternity. That is why crisis care - like the suicide hotline - is available for you 24/7. That way, you don't have to wait until tomorrow to talk to a school counselor, your parents, or another professional. You can get the help you need RIGHT NOW. All you have to do is call.


I know how hard it can be to struggle with suicidal thoughts and feelings, it is so important to know that you aren't struggling alone.

 

Once you are feeling well enough and more stable, you can go to therapy, get on medications, and learn how to better cope with your individual situation. You can address the causes of your suicidal feelings, and make changes to your life.

 

If you know someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings, you can talk them through the situation, and help them find resources to get out of the situation that they are in. You can also call the crisis hotline on behalf of someone else - I have done this before too. The crisis line can help you find resources in your area to help the person in your life that is struggling.


The most important thing to do if someone comes to you thinking about suicide is to take their concerns seriously, and to let them know that they aren't alone.


Thinking about suicide can be very isolating, because there is a shame and stigma associated with suicide. Some people think that it is selfish to commit suicide and hurts the family around them. Just remember, people don't think about suicide lightly.


When someone is thinking about suicide, what they really want is an end to their pain and suffering. If they think that suicide is the only way, then they are in an extreme amount of mental anguish, and it is important to show them as much kindness as possible, and to enlist additional professional supports that they will need to move forward.


If you can, stay with them until they can go to the hospital or crisis center, or enlist the help of someone else who can do so. Knowing that you aren't alone with your suicidal feelings can be a tremendous help!


We can all do our part this month to help anyone who is contemplating suicide, by raising awareness about the new 988 hotline, and by informing ourselves on ways to help someone struggling with suicide in case they do reach out.

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