Columbus, OH,
12:00 PM

10TV/NBC4/ABC6: Local families, doctors share advice on mental health and suicide awareness

With the recent death of popular fashion designer Kate Spade, and TV personality and writer Anthony Bourdain, the conversations regarding suicide and mental health are happening around the country.

As the local community recognizes the tragic loss and learns more about other suicides in their own communities, many more are learning to understand the importance and value in having those early conversations as well paying attention to signs and behaviors. By starting the conversations and providing support, you could save a life.

Megan Schabbing, M.D., medical director of Psychiatric Emergency Services at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital told ABC 6, "Seeing a story like this can really kind of give you a good opportunity to have that conversation, 'How do you feel like you have been doing lately? How are you doing with your depression or your anxiety?'"

Dr. Schabbing emphasizes the seriousness of watching for warning signs in those who are close to you. Some warning signs can help you determine if someone may be at risk, such as changes in behavior, substance abuse and more.

"It's really scary because it is not always the person that's calling out for help that needs the help," Dr. Schabbing told ABC 6. "So, that is where appreciating those more subtle signs that may be going on with somebody with anxiety or depression or someone who is abusing substances may act out impulsively, it is important to identify any potential red flags earlier and get them evaluated by a mental health professional."

Countless people are affected by mental illness, whether that is from firsthand experience or secondhandedly through caring for someone who suffers. Dr. Schabbing told ABC 6 that about 90 percent of people who kill themselves have some sort of a diagnosed mental illness.

Mental health awareness is important and should not be a topic to avoid.

Dr. Schabbing encourages others to take it extremely seriously if someone expresses suicidal thoughts or even talks about a plan. There is help available with endless amounts of resources.

If you need to talk or need help, please reach out. You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also get help and chat on their website here.

To learn more about behavioral and mental health, click here.

To see the story from ABC6, click here.

From NBC4, click here.