Protecting your mental health

If you or anyone you know needs help, there are resources.
Cheslie Kryst crowned Miss USA in 2019.
Cheslie Kryst crowned Miss USA in 2019.(WTOK)
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 1:04 PM EST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The death of Cheslie Kryst, Former Miss USA in 2019 brings immense shock and sorrow to many. But the news also brings the conversation of mental health back to the limelight.

Dr. Lee Lee Marlow with Weems Community Mental Health Center says mental health is just as important as any other aspect of our lives.

“If you look at the body as a full house—mental health is a primary component of that,” Marlow said.

Marlow says the age of people who commit suicide continues to get lower. It is the 2nd leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 to 34.

What signs can people look for?

“People who are considering suicide, many times talk about about hopelessness, not wanting to live,” Marlow said. “They often times have mood changes. The other thing we look for are behavior changes. It can be more of something or less of something. More sleep, less sleep. More eating, less eating. More social life, less social life.”

Marlow says it’s important to intervene and check on your loved ones—especially the ones that seem the strongest.

She says there were nearly two and a half times as many suicides in the U.S. as there were homicides in 2019. Marlow says this is due more to social media than the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All we can go on is knowing the risk factors because we do know what they are and looking for those signs in all people because suicide does not discriminate,” Marlow said.

If you or anyone you know needs help, there are resources.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.

The Crisis Text Line serves anyone in any type of crisis for free 24/7.

The Weems team of mental health professionals is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide short-term crisis response.

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