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Radio ad gave Bruce Brown the courage to ask for help

Radio ad gave Bruce Brown the courage to ask for help

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Campbell County Health (CCH) wants to share resources—and stories—as a way to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), each year more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide. We’ve also learned that every other day someone in Wyoming dies from suicide, leaving the state with the reputation of having the highest suicide rate in the nation.

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, substance abuse or thoughts of suicide, Bruce Brown wants you to know that it’s OK to ask for help. Check out the video below for his story.

The staff at CCH Behavior Health Services (BHS) department is ready to assist patients in getting their lives back on track, addressing addiction issues and treating any other mental health concerns.

“People feel mental illness is something you can just shake off or that one can pull yourself up by the bootstraps,” says Jeff Rice, BHS Director. “People don’t realize untreated mental illness can kill you. People can save their own lives…by making a phone call. Don’t let it get to crisis level.”

This Fall, Bruce has partnered with BHS to share his story of anxiety, depression and substance abuse, and how he got the courage to ask for help. Details of when Bruce plans to be speaking will be announced shortly. In the meantime, please check out some resources below on anxiety, depression and substance abuse. And, be sure to read It’s OK to ask for help, and interview with BHS Director Jeff Rice, talks more about the services provided at CCH.

Signs of Depression (download a PDF)

  • loss of interest or withdrawal from activities or hobbies
  • a lack of energy, fatigue or always feeling too tired to do anything
  • emotional ups and downs including outbursts of anger, uncontrollable crying, or even
  • small bursts of happiness
  • too much sleep or too little sleep
  • changes in appetite and corresponding weight gain or loss
  • difficulty concentrating or making decisions

Stress vs Anxiety (download a PDF)

  • Stress is a response to a specific stressor (death of a family member, divorce, family or workplace demands, etc.), anxiety has no identifiable root.
  • Anxiety manifests itself in physical problems like pain, dizziness and panic attacks.
  • Stress is NOT a mental disorder needing medication.
  • In order to be diagnosed with anxiety, symptoms must persist for a period of six months.
  • Stress goes away when the specific stressor goes away.

Substance Abuse: CAGE Questionnaire (download a PDF)

  • Have you ever felt that you should Cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  • Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
  • Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drinking or drug use?
  • Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning (Eye opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

Answering “yes” to any of things may indicate the need for a more extensive assessment.

Warning Signs of Suicide (download a PDF)

  • Talking about suicide or death in general
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Withdrawal from friends and family

Listen to the people around you for signs of suicide—encourage them to seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If someone you know is in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, call 911 now. To learn about other warning signs or potential risk factors for suicide, please visit www.cchwyo.org/resources/suicide-prevention/.

Campbell County Health Behavioral Health Services provides the Northeastern Wyoming community with compassionate, confidential and comprehensive treatment of behavioral disorders, mental illness and substance abuse treatment following detox. Learn more by calling 307.688.5000 or visiting www.cchwyo.org/BHS.