Kevin Fischer, the Executive Director at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Michigan tells FOX 47 that the state's suicide rates decreased in 2020.

We’ve shown that in a normal year, there are about 1450 suicides in the state of Michigan. The initial report that I saw indicates that there were 1200 suicides for 2020. So that’s great news.

Did you know that a high percentage of suicide deaths are men?

Fischer tells FOX 47 that around 80 percent of suicide deaths are men. Elizza LeJeune, a clinician at Pine Rest Christian Services adds that there has been an increase in young men seeking help as well.

I know for young African American men the numbers have gone up. I have found that over the last three years I have gotten an increase in males especially teens or young adults like 18 going to college seeking out counseling services.

 

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Why does the topic of mental health make us uncomfortable and how can we help?

I have a few thoughts as a result of my own experiences. One of those reasons is they don't know the right thing to say and they feel like they may or may not make things worse.

Another reason could be that they have a lot going on in their life and they're the type of person who has the "pull yourself up by your boot straps and keep moving" mentality.

Or maybe they're someone who has never experienced depression or anxiety themselves.

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My response is that you don't have to know the right thing to say. Sometimes all a person needs is to know that they're not alone and that someone cares about them.

Not everyone is able to shove their feelings down and keep moving like nothing happened. From my own experience, burying intense feelings instead of working on them often results in a downward spiral.

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Something someone once told me that helps me on off days is,

It's not a bad life. It's just a bad day. There's always a rainbow after the rain.

I personally know what it's like to be surrounded by people and still feel like you're alone. If you are currently going through a similar experience, I would like you to know that you matter and are important to more people than you know.

You've got this. Good days will outweigh the bad days if you keep pushing.

It's okay to reach out for help. We all need help sometimes. If you or someone you know is need of help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 800-273-8255.

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