This episode is part two of a with New York City-based psychiatrist, Dr. Claudine Jones-Bourne about grief, suicide, and how to create a safety plan. She also shares valuable resources for anyone struggling with mental health issues.
Dr. Jones-Bourne starts by reminding us that our head is real and the psychiatric problems we may face are valid. Our mental health deserves attention just like any other part of our body.
She provides us with some key statistics on suicides. In 2019, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in America and it was the 2nd leading cause of death for millennials aged 10 to 34. And though the official statistics are not out yet for during the pandemic, she believes that the number of suicide attempts and completions has risen.
We discussed the spectrum of suicidality. Dr. Jones-Bourne warns that if you are anywhere on the spectrum, it is time to get help. This even includes passive thoughts about death and being better off being dead.
We also learn how to develop a suicide safety plan. A safety plan is epecially useful if you have suicidal thoughts of any type. It should include warning signs, internal coping strategies, social situations and places that provide a distraction, people you can ask for help, professionals or agencies to contact during a crisis, and ways to make your environment safe.
In addition to this, Dr. Jones-Bourne encourages suicidal persons to think about the one thing that’s most important to them and is worth living for. Whatever this answer may be, it should be written down as part of the safety plan.
Dr. Jones-Bourne and I also discuss important resources for dealing with mental health. We are encouraged to make good use of exercise, good nutrition, sleep, and fresh air. Plus, speaking kindly to yourself.
In the event that a person is unable or not willing to find a therapist, she tells us about alternatives including self-help tools (podcasts, audiobooks, therapy workbooks) and online platforms like Talk Space, Cerebral, BetterHelp. Some people also find adopting meditation practices to be helpful.
Dr. Jones-Bourne‘ final message to us is that, “You are your biggest resource… you have so much power inside of you.”
Connect with Dr. Jones-Bource: Website
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not represent those of my employer.