New KFF/CNN Survey on Mental Health Finds Young Adults in Crisis

An overwhelmingly majority (90%) of Americans believe the nation is in the midst of a mental health crisis, and young adults appear to be suffering the most, a new KFF-CNN survey on mental health in America reveals.

A third (34%) of adults under age 30 rate their mental health as “only fair” or “poor,” compared to 19% of those ages 30 and older. Half (52%) say they “always” or “often” felt anxious over the past year (28% for older adults), and about a third say they always or often felt depressed (33%) or lonely (32%) in the past year, also significantly higher than for older adults (18% each among those ages 30 and older).

In addition, about a third (35%) of young adults say they have been unable to work or engage in other activities due to a mental health condition in the past year, a rate significantly higher than older adults.

Read the full article from KFF.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Launches

988 is the new, nationwide, three-digit dialing code for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The 988 dialing code connects people via call, text, or chat, to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. 988 is the newest addition to the state’s network of crisis center providers and will not replace any crisis call centers in Washington. The current NSPL number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), will remain active along with the new 988 dialing code.

“Thanks to the many partner organizations and agencies who have made this resource possible,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “In the same way 911 transformed our ability to respond to emergency safety or health situations, 988 will transform our ability to connect people to help in behavioral and mental health crisis situations.”

“Providing an easy-to-remember, three-digit number is an important step to accessing potentially life-saving support,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “We are dedicated to enhancing and expanding behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services for all Washingtonians.”

In addition to activating a new dialing code for anyone experiencing suicidal or mental health-related crisis to call, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline also allows text messaging as part of increasing access to services for youth and individuals with different abilities. People can also dial or text 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. 988 will be available 24/7 and is free and confidential.

Call services will be available in Spanish, along with interpretation services in over 250 languages. Spanish speakers may reach the Spanish Language Line by pressing 2 after dialing 9-8-8 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Text and chat services are available in English only.

Veterans and service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing 9-8-8 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Soon, Washington will also be able to launch a Native and Strong Lifeline, dedicated to serving Washington’s American Indian and Alaska Native individuals.

People who are deaf, hard of hearing, and TTY users should use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.

10 Helpful Ways You Can Manage Family Stress During the Holidays

The holiday season is often filled with fun and family, but it can also be stressful. A 2018 survey found that an overwhelming majority (88%) of those surveyed feel stressed when celebrating the holidays.

Family dynamics play a major factor in how much you and your loved ones may enjoy the holidays. Here are 10 ways to manage family-related stress and help you experience more joy with your family.

#1 Talk in advance to set expectations around gift-giving.

When spending on holiday gifts is uneven or gifts are unexpected, it can lead to awkward and even unhappy moments with family. Have a brief conversation up front to set the ground rules and agree on a spending range. For many families, drawing names and giving to just one person offers a way to reduce financial strain while others choose experiences they can do together, like seeing a local theater show, and eliminate gifts altogether.

Conversation starter: “We thought it would be helpful to make a plan for gifts this year, as we need to stick to a budget. Can we agree on a spending limit?” 

Read the rest of the article from Families for Depression Awareness.