Letter to the editor: ACT on mental healthMay is Mental Health Awareness month. Mental illness impacts many of us personally and all of us as being part of a community.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. Mental illness impacts many of us personally and all of us as being part of a community.
As with any illness, we need to acknowledge, care and treat (ACT) when we, a loved one or anyone is experiencing mental health problems.
Personally I’ve been successfully treated for post traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, my son, Aaron, couldn’t overcome his mental health problems, even with treatment. Aaron committed suicide in October 1999. Aaron’s final goal was to kill himself to show others that it’s not worth doing. His illness was so out of control that this made perfect sense to him. With suicide attempts, 95 percent of people survive. With mental health treatment people can thrive.
Suicide rates have locally accelerated this past year. I am part of the new Lake and Cook County Suicide Prevention Initiative. Mental illness can be successfully treated long before thoughts of suicide surface. As a tribute to Aaron, I’m asking everyone to ACT. Mental health needs to be our goal.
We can grow and thrive together.
From Jody Freij-Tonder, Two Harbors