September 27, 2023
"Everyone needs to know that suicide is not a choice and that believing death is the only way to escape pain is a symptom of an unhealthy brain. Such education is literally vital, and it must include personal stories. That is the most powerful way to eliminate stigma," wrote Shauna Moses, NJAMHAA's Vice President, Public Affairs and Member Services, in an opinion-editorial piece that was published in the Asbury Park Press.
"Everyone needs to learn to recognize the signs of mental illnesses and risk of suicide, and how to address these health concerns when the signs are apparent in their loved ones, friends and colleagues, as well as to share one’s own struggles and seek support to overcome them. Such support must be sought as soon as possible," Moses emphasized. "Research has demonstrated that when mental health struggles are identified and addressed early, suicide risk declines significantly. However, despite this research, stigma continues to prevent many individuals from seeking help. Education to eliminate stigma can save lives, and I strongly believe it helped save mine."
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