Crisis Centers Educate Community On Mental Health Issues, Suicide Prevention

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.

Organizations across the country are bringing awareness to the services that are there to offer help.

Organizations gathered at the State Theatre in Traverse City for an open panel discussion and special showing of the documentary “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.”

“I think it’s important to talk even more than we have been lately about PTSD because the problem is a lot bigger than we think it is.”

It’s estimated that one in four people in Michigan have a mental health issue, yet many do now seek treatment.

Tonight local crisis centers brought awareness to some of those issues.

“Unfortunately a lot of people experience really bad things without going to combat, and many times this kind of crisis we see are in response to the trauma they’ve seen in their past,” says Brad Will, Emergency Service and Outpatient Therapy Supervisor at Northern Lakes Community Mental Health.

Will says open conversations play a big role in treating many problems.

“If we talk about these issues we can be prepared to respond, and we can even talk about prevention services so people don’t get to a crisis where they feel suicidal,” says Will.

Lt/Colonel Linda Fletcher works at educating people on PTSD, a mental health issue she personally experiences.

“The fact that people who have PTSD don’t like to talk about it is reflected in our community. We talk about it but we don’t talk about the things that really hurt and what really needs to be addressed,” says Lt/Colonel Fletcher. “I have my own military related PTSD, and it doesn’t have to come from combat. There are lots of different ways you can get PTSD, and I got a little dose.”

It’s also up to the entire community to help support people suffering from mental health issues.

“The more we leave it in the shadows, the longer we fail to bring it into the center of the room, the greater it will it grow and reach out into our society,” says Lt/Colonel Fletcher.