MVRC Pledges to Share the Five Signs

The Facts
Nearly one in every five people, or 43.8 million American adults, has a diagnosable mental health condition. According to the Army, only 40 percent of veterans who screen positive for serious emotional problems seek help from a mental health professional. More Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents. Suicide rates are increasing among the active duty, National Guard and Reserve.

According to the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research 20% of the vets who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. 19.5% of vets in these two categories have experienced a traumatic brain injury. 1.7M Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year – which may affect their cognitive and emotional functioning. Drug use is on the rise in this country and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs.

Often our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even family members are suffering emotionally and don’t recognize the symptoms or won’t ask for help.

Learn more and obtain tools: www.changedirection.org 

The Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

Personality changes

You may notice sudden or gradual changes in the way that someone typically behaves. People in this situation may behave in ways that don’t seem to fit their values, or the person may just seem different.

Uncharacteristically angry, anxious, agitated, or moody

You may notice the person has more frequent problems controlling his or her temper and seems irritable or unable to calm down. People in more extreme situations of this kind may be unable to sleep or may explode in anger at a minor problem.

Withdrawal or isolation from other people.

Someone who used to be socially engaged may pull away from family and friends and stop taking part in activities that used to be enjoyable. In more severe cases the person may start failing to make it to work or school. Not to be confused with the behavior of someone who is more introverted, this sign is marked by a change in a person’s typical sociability, as when someone pulls away from the social support typically available.

May neglect self-care and engage in risky behavior.

You may notice a change in the person’s level of personal care or an act of poor judgment. For instance, someone may let personal hygiene deteriorate, or the person may start abusing alcohol or illicit substances or engaging in other self-destructive behavior that may alienate loved ones.

Overcome with hopelessness and overwhelmed by circumstances.

Have you noticed someone who used to be optimistic and now can’t find anything to be hopeful about? That person may be suffering from extreme or prolonged grief, or feelings of worthlessness or guilt. People in this situation may say that the world would be better off without them, suggesting suicidal thinking.


The Campaign to Change Direction is a coalition of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to change the culture in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness. America is at a crossroads when it comes to how our society addresses mental health. We know that one in five of our citizens has a diagnosable mental health condition, and that more Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents. While many of us are comfortable acknowledging publicly our physical suffering, for which we almost always seek help, many more of us privately experience mental suffering, for which we almost never reach out.

 

 

 

America is at a crossroads when it comes to how our society addresses mental health. We know that one in five of our citizens has a diagnosable mental health condition, and that more Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents. While many of us are comfortable acknowledging publicly our physical suffering, for which we almost always seek help, many more of us privately experience mental suffering, for which we almost never reach out.

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