Shining a light on mental health

Local News

A television interview Sunday night is shining a light on mental health.

In an exclusive interview, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, opened up to Oprah about life in the royal family.

During the Sunday night interview, Meghan revealed she had a clear, real, and frightening thought about suicide while she was a working member of the royal family.

“I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially because I know how much loss he’s suffered, but I knew that if I didn’t say it, I would do it and I just didn’t…didn’t want to be alive anymore,” Meghan said.

Helpline Center substance use program manager, Taylor Funke, says mental health problems can affect anybody and everybody.

“I think because of the stigma and taboo associated with mental health and people, when they have thoughts of suicide, they don’t often talk about it with their co-worker, talk about it with their friend. A lot of people, because of the shame and stigma associated with it, kind of keep that to themselves,” Funke said.

Signs that someone could be having thoughts about suicide include increased substance use, hopelessness and withdrawal from family, friends, and society.

“If you have a family member or someone that you care about that you’re kind of worried that maybe they are having some of these thoughts, it’s good to just be open and honest about it, to ask ‘Are you having thoughts of suicide? Are you okay?'” Funke said.

Funke says the Helpline Center’s crisis call volume continues to increase as more awareness is generated around help and support.

“Hopefully we’re kind of breaking down some of those stigmas associated with mental health that it’s okay to seek help. It’s okay to see support, and there is help, and there is support out there,” Funke said.

If you are having thoughts about suicide you can call 211.

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