Someone you know is struggling

We support the Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority’s plans to host a number of events this month to raise awareness both of the number of Northeast Michiganders struggling and the resources available to help them.

The truth is, it’s likely you know someone who’s struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental health concerns.

When we make ourselves aware of such struggles, we can more easily spot them and make ourselves available as a listening ear to help our loved ones, friends, or neighbors pull through.

About 40.6 out of every 100,000 Alpena County residents struggled with severe depression last year, according to the national nonprofit Mental Health America.

About 41.8 per 100,000 so struggled in Alcona County. About 34.5 per 100,000 struggled in Presque Isle County.

The group did not have data for Montmorency County.

Across Michigan, 41.2 per 100,000 people struggled with severe depression. Nationally, the rate is 40.7 per 100,000 people, according to Mental Health America.

That data is based on the group’s online mental health screening and likely does not capture all of the struggle in our communities.

The Community Mental Health Authority served 2,249 people last year. Not all people who struggle use that group’s services. Others see therapists through private practice. Others seek no help at all or try to hide their struggles, so the true number of people in need of mental health aid is likely significantly larger.

We all can help.

Be a listening ear to everyone around you. Ask how they’re doing. Let them know you care. Be a friend. A little bit of compassion can go a long way for someone dealing with mental illness.

And, if you’re struggling, help is available. Just call or text 988 to connect to someone who can talk to you and connect you to resources.

Plus, hopefully, your more-aware loved ones, friends, and neighbors will be there for you, too.


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