May is mental health awareness month

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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) "There are isolation issues, there’s accessibility. You know, it’s really hard for some of the big ranchers and farmers or whoever way out in those communities to have access to mental healthcare.” Said Mari Manthei-Robinson of Drew’s Decision.

In 2018 Wyoming ranked third in the nation for suicides with 144 recorded in the state.

These eye-opening statistics force us to focus on other mental health issues leading up to this point, as mental health is much more than suicide.

“Everyone has moments of depression, everyone has moments of anxiety, but when it’s chronic and it becomes disruptive to your life and you’re loved ones that’s when you need to reach out for help.” Said Amanda Jones of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Wyoming.

Other subtle mental health issues are just as important.

“gone untreated or unnoticed and they can escalate into bigger problems.”

Jones said we often make talking about mental health more complicated than needed.

“We have to make mental health a kitchen table conversation.”

Eliminating the stigma is crucial.

“discrimination is very intense when it comes to mental health and so that’s often times what will stop individuals from seeking help.”

“it’s ok to ask for help. it’s ok to say I’m having these thoughts or I’m not feeling the way I normally do.”

“I think it’s always time to ask for help because if you’re asking yourself the question there’s obviously a reason you’re asking.”

Stepping outside of yourself and allowing yourself to be vulnerable serves both those who are struggling and the people watching them struggle.

“You have to be prepared that if you ask someone if you’re ok, and they say no I’m not ok. how do you handle that?”

Jones says NAMI provides education, support groups, and resources for friends and family preparing for that conversation with a loved one.

“saying one little thing can save a life.”