Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Monday, April 28, 2014

**Documentary:The Bridge (Suicide) and My Thoughts
This is a documentary that was presented on HBO.  It was a bit difficult to watch. I had to do it in several parts.  If this subject is a problem for someone, it would be best they not watch.  The Bridge is a 2006 documentary film by Eric Steel that tells the stories of a handful of few individuals who committed suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge in 2004.  They had two cameras filming the bridge  during daylight hours.
This movie was introduced to me at a training I attended this week at work dealing with "Mental Health First Aid."  In the training the presented just one story, of the individual who jumped and survived.  They trainers were making the point that perhaps if someone how, there were times when, if a mental health first aid intervention had been offered, the individual may not have jumped. 
This movie is very impactful.  I don't know how many suicides were taped in the making of this film, but there were several, and many were shown.  The movie becomes more personal as they talk to survivors of suicide, and then show the suicide.  There is one case where someone is able to pull someone back over the railing.
The movie contends that more suicides have taken place here than any other place in the world. 
I was impressed with the showing, and telling of the stories of people in pain.  Some suffered from depression, or other mental illnesses.  Some were homeless, some with substance issues.  There abuse were 24 suicides in 2004 off the bridge.  There were those with relationship issues, and those with loss issues.  It helped me as a mental health worker to step back, and see people as individuals in pain, rather than just callers, or clients. 
Before leaving this some words of advice from someone who has manned the suicide and crisis line, and after-hours line for most of my professional career, 30 years now.  Do not be afraid to ask someone if they are contemplating suicide.  Don't no be afraid to ask, because the asking might save someone's life.  But also be prepared to give some assitance if the answer is "yes." You can refer to a crisis line:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-talk
Santa Clara County Suicide Line  1-855-278-4204
You can explore self-help resources: a friend, a parent, a church leader, a coach whoever.
However: always take it seriously.  Do not minimize how someone else feels.  People hurt, and need support sometimes to make it through a rough period.  Professional help is available: 911, nearest emergency room, county mental health Santa Clara County 1-800-704-0500.
If you would have trouble seeing someone jump to their death, do not watch this movie.  It shows several jumpers, and follows some as they fall.

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