Redesigning the Website

Hi Everyone, come back soon. I am working on redesigning my website for you and for equipping you to help those battling a mental illness or facing suicide ideations.

Dr. Mike

Should You Tell Your Boss about a Mental Illness

Should You Tell Your Boss about a Mental Illness …

Mental illness is growing across our nation. One in four individuals will be challenged with a mental health crisis or a mental illness. This article does an excellent job highlighting this issue. 


The World Health Organization reports that mental illness is among the leading causes of disability across the globe. In a 2011 survey of more than 2,000 people, about a quarter reported experiencing a mental health problem …

Read it and see if you identify with those mentioned in the story.

Dr. Mike

Read more …(you will be taken to another website)

Helping a Child Survive a Suicide Crisis

Helping a Child Survive a Suicide Crisis

Two life events recently reminded me about the need to protect children from completing suicide, and also to survive the suicide of someone in their home. On two different occasions, parents committed a homicide then completed suicide. In one case there were three children left and the other four kids. Childhood suicide and surviving suicide is a reality in our society where nearly 40,000 people will complete suicide in a given year.

 

As adults and leaders, what do we do to help a child survive a suicide crisis?

 

1. Understand Your Emotional Reaction to the Idea of Suicide

There is nothing more troubling than hearing a child  has been forced to deal with a family member or friend who has completed suicide. However, we know of children and youth who have had to face this challenge and today needs your help.

 

It can be so upsetting to us that our initial reaction may be denial. Hearing that a child has been confronted with the reality of suicide can produce strong emotional reactions, but we need to be sure that our emotions do not scare the child from sharing what they are feeling. In my experience, there have been times that children and youth, after having a loved one complete suicide, mention they would like to do the same thing. If our reaction is of shock, anger, or helplessness, it might cause the child to not want to open up to us as adults and leaders. Therefore, we need to understand our emotional reaction can help or hinder a child from getting the help they need.

 

2. Recognize the Warning Signs of Suicide

Fortunately, there are usually warning signs you can identify and act upon to prevent a suicide attempt or completion.

 

In about 90% of all suicides, there were verbal cues, behavioral cues, and situational cues. It is a reality discovered in suicidology that if suicide is introduced into a family there is a greater risk of others completing suicide who were touched by it.

 

For that reason as adults and leaders we need to get educated on the warning signs of suicide and what we can do if a child, youth, or adult is thinking about suicide as an option to the pain they are currently feeling. To learn more about how you and your community, whether it is a church or a community organization, can get trained in Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Click Here! To learn about some of the warning signs of suicide Click Here!

 

What should you do if you observe a child or teenager with some of these warning signs?

 

3. Talk with the Child about Your Concerns

By being aware of changes in behavior and paying attention to what a child says, a concerned adult and leader might ask “Are you so upset that you’re thinking about not living anymore?”

 

If a child or teen are thinking about suicide, research tells us that they will probably say so. When children share their thoughts, they allow us to help them. Sometimes suicidal feelings and despair are detected by observing aggressive or destructive play, behavior and/or drawings by the child that depict themes of death and destruction.

 

Any signs or symptoms of distress that produce fear in you, should signal the need to act quickly.

 

4. Ask for Help

The best advice I have received as a Psychologist and Pastor is “know when to refer.”

 

Always know when you have reached your capacity to help a child work through suicidal thoughts and feelings. Reach out to a mental health professional or the child’s family doctor for help when you feel like you are not sure what the next steps are in helping a child.

 

Suicide, as difficult a subject as this is, is all of our business.

 

Don’t be afraid to get involved and help a child when they are suicidal or when a parent or loved one has completed suicide and introduced the idea into the home.

 

You could literally save a life. Simply ask “R U OK?”

 

Until next time,

Dr. Mike

About Email Counseling

About Email Counseling

Online Counseling takes place via computers in ‘cyberspace’ but instead of sitting in a counselor’s office you sit at home in front of your computer and the counselor sits in his or her office in front of theirs – although you don’t both have to be at the computer at the same time. In Email Counseling, you write about what is disturbing you in an email and send it to the counselor. He or she then reads it and posts a return within an agreed time. The number of times that you do this depends entirely upon you. You only pay for the Therapeutic Email provided you by the counselor.

What are the advantages of Email Counseling?

There are several features of online counseling which you may consider to be advantageous over face-to-face:

  • You don’t have to book an appointment and then sit and wait until the agreed time
  • You don’t have to travel to see the counselor
  • You can compose your email as and when it suits you
  • You may feel less embarrassed and find yourself able to disclose things which you have been unable to previously
  • You can write in the way which is most comfortable for you
  • You can use emoticons to indicate how you are feeling
  • Spelling and grammar are not important – it is what you say that is
  • Unlike when you speak to someone you can amend and edit what you wish to say before you send it
  • You can read the response that you receive over and over again
  • You can stop whenever you wish – although it would be a good idea to let the counselor know your intention to do so in your last email.
  • You will have a record of each session which you will be able to reflect upon and see the progress that you have made
  • If you do not wish anyone else to know that you are working with a counselor you do not have to tell anyone, unless you are under 18.

Online therapy has disadvantages too – here are a few

  • Online Counselors cannot respond to crisis situations
  • Online Counseling is not appropriate for those with serious psychiatric illnesses
  • Online Counseling is not appropriate for people with complicated or detailed issues
  • Without visual or auditory clues it is possible for misunderstandings to occur
  • Email exchanges preclude the kind of urgent attention which is possible in a face-to-face setting
  • Online Counseling cannot offer the structure, which some clients may prefer, of attending sessions at the same time each week
  • Online Counseling is reliant upon technology which may fail

As Email/Online Counseling grows, I want you to be completely informed as to what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to helping you solve your problems. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you through this means and encourage you to contact via email at drmike@drmikeferguson.com.

Until next time,

Dr. Mike