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Mississippi Department of Mental Health Reminds Public of Suicide Prevention Resources

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Suicide is a serious problem that affects all races and all socio-economic statuses around the world.

In the wake of the untimely passing of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health reminds everyone of the importance of suicide prevention and the resources available to save lives.

“Mental and physical health go hand in hand. If we’re not mentally well, we’re not physically well,” says Ja’Quila Newsome, director of suicide prevention for the MS Department of Mental Health.

Newsome was saddened to learn of the passing of Miss USA 2019, attorney and entertainment news correspondent Cheslie Kryst at the age of 30.

She says that many celebrities and ordinary citizens suffer from feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and hopelessness that often lead to suicide.

“Sometimes we forget just because we see someone and they seem to have everything together, that doesn’t define that they are all together.”

According to the DMH, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States and the 15th leading cause of death in Mississippi. It is also the 3rd leading cause of death among young people in Mississippi between the ages of 15 and 24.

“Some of the common signs in suicidal people are talking about suicide, it could be writing about suicide, posting a message on some type of social media platform.”

Newsome says that if you’re having deep depressive or suicidal thoughts, don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek help or seek professional treatment.

“You can contact the DMH helpline, you can contact your doctor to express your concerns and express how you feel, talk to a therapist to develop coping skills that match your needs to help you get through this phase depression,” Newsome said.

There are also ways to help someone at risk of suicide or suffering in silence.

“If you notice that something is wrong with that person, whether it’s because they’re sleeping too much or eating too much and things like that, check in on them. Reassure them that you are there to support them and if they need to talk to you, let me know you are there.

If you or a loved one need help, call the Department of Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-210-8513.

Staff members provide round-the-clock assistance. It also offers free suicide prevention training called “Shatter the Silence, Suicide: The Secret You Shouldn’t Keep.”

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