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How to Talk to a Suicide Loss Survivor

Talking to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide is challenging to say the least. It presents challenges beyond the discomfort we commonly feel in the presence of grief. Despite our hearts being in the right place, the eagerness to comfort someone may mistakenly cause us to say something hurtful. The fear of compounding the loss survivor’s pain by saying the wrong thing may cause us to avoid those who are grieving. Let them know about the Suicide Loss Support Groups that happen throughout the month in our area. And below are some tips from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on navigating conversations with suicide loss survivors in a kind, thoughtful, and responsible way: “I don’t know what to say, but I’m here for you.” Suicide loss is complicated, devastating, dumbfounding. There are no easy answers and no easy fixes. Be a patient, nonjudgmental listener. Be a…

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Impact of Gardening on Mental Health

This week we celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, and there’s no better way to celebrate these holidays than by getting your hands dirty. Gardening engages you physically, mentally, and socially. Health benefits are numerous and you don’t need to live in the suburbs or the country to experience gardening and its benefits.  Gardening can positively impact a number of health outcomes, including: Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety Decrease in reported stress and mood disturbances Decrease in BMI Higher reported sense of community Increased physical activity Improved cognitive function Gardening has both immediate and long-term effects on health. For individuals with mental health conditions, horticultural therapy - using gardening as a means to facilitate dialogue and skill building - has shown promise for improving chronic and acute mental health conditions. People report feeling happier almost immediately when engaging in gardening. Over time, individuals lowered their BMI through physical activity…

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Go Red for Women

Join DBHIDS as we celebrate National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Please wear red or a splash of red this Friday, February 1! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, causing 1 in 4 deaths each year. But the warning signs for women aren’t the same in men. The fact is: Heart disease is also the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year or approximately one woman every minute! Did you know that African American women and Hispanic women are at increased risk for heart disease? African American women have an estimated 40% chance of having heart disease or stroke Hispanic women have a 30% likelihood of having heart disease or stroke. The good news is that 80% of the risk factors associated with women and heart disease, such as obesity, lack of physical activity, and high blood pressure, can be managed…

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Mental Health & the Holidays

Some people who experience holiday sadness or depression have feelings that are triggered by the holidays but go away when the season ends, while others experience a more severe depression that is triggered during the holiday season and lasts well into the New Year. The holiday blues - feelings of anxiety or depression around the holidays - can lead to long-term mental health conditions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness shared tips for managing the Holiday Blues in this video:

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