Our View: Tackling the taboo

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Craig Editorial Board, January 2010 to March 2010

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Joshua Roberts, newspaper representative
  • Sherry Kurz, community representative
  • Lynne Krause, community representative
  • Tim Jantz, community representative
  • Karen Knez, community representative

Mental illness often is a subject that’s difficult to address, especially in a community such as ours, where the spirit of independence and a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality exists so prominently.

And yet, there this quiet killer is, year after year, thrust to the forefront of the public consciousness when tragedy unfolds and a life ends because someone sadly succumbs to these issues without getting much-needed help.

A forum Thursday night at The Memorial Hospital in Craig, which was designed to address issues such as suicide, grief and depression, was a step in the right direction toward educating the public and raising awareness about these very real, community-deflating issues, the Editorial Board contends.

About 50 local residents, several of which had personal ties to the issues being discussed, attended the forum hosted by two psychologists and two survivors.

The community should be commended for attending the forum, learning more about the subjects and attempting to tackle these tough issues.

Moffat County’s numbers for suicides and attempted suicides are extremely high — three suicides have been reported so far this year — and the problem doesn’t end there.

There’s no telling how many people in the community quietly suffer day after day from forms of grief and depression without making the brave leap to get help.

Given this, our progress and forward momentum on mental health issues can’t start and stop with Thursday’s forum. More needs to be done, and it’s reassuring that the local group, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, has recognized as much.

There are a couple of other key points the Editorial Board would like to make in this opinion piece, messages meant for those suffering from mental health issues.

Namely, you do not have to struggle through these problems alone. There is information and help available to you that can perhaps guide you to a way of life devoid of such struggles.

Also, you should disregard any negative stigma you feel is attached to mental health issues.

As Thursday’s forum suggested, many health professionals no longer consider suicide to be a purely mental problem.

Speakers Thursday agreed that biological seeds, physical pain and environmental issues also factor into mental illness.

In that regard, getting the treatment you need is no different than being seen by a doctor for a physical malady.

You wouldn’t let chronic back pain, a heart condition or high blood pressure go unchecked and untreated, right?

So, what’s the difference between seeking help for a physical problem and a mental health one?

To this Editorial Board, and we’re willing to bet to many in the community, nothing.

Nothing at all.

Comments

lonelyone 4 years, 10 months ago

I think many will do nothing because they are embarrassed about seeing someone? If they go see someone then somebody else might find out and then their terrible secret is out?!?!? And in a town like Craig, that would be terrible.

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eieiolrighty 4 years, 10 months ago

I think that is very sad. Park down the street and walk, go to Steamboat, Meeker or Hayden. Just get help. I have been there. I did not want anyone to know what was going on with me. I made people promise not to tell. Now that I am better I don't care who knows. People are very judgmental in Craig. But, I think you will find more people are like you than not. They are glad to see another individual in the same situation; then they know you are going to be more understanding of them. Once you seek help and find out that there is hope you feel OH SO MUCH BETTER. Life does go on, Life is better tomorrow. Just wait and see! Depression is a medical condition just like heart disease or being diabetic. You are missing a chemical in your brain. It is nothing to be ashamed of. But your brain tricks you into thinking it is when you are feeling so crappy. My doctor told me not to be embarrassed because the people that see you at the doctor office are also there for the same reason. They have no room to talk and more than likely won't because they know how you feel.

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