When to seek help

courtesy graphic

courtesy graphic

National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Suicide Prevention graphic

Suicide Prevention graphic

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- We all have breaking points.

Imagine you are wearing a backpack that is being filled with weights.

Some of us might collapse at 50 pounds, some of us at 150 pounds, and some of us might make it to 500 pounds, but at some point we will all collapse, no matter how much we would like to stand upright. The same is true for our mental wellbeing.

If you think of the weights as life stressors, it may be easier to understand.

Are you having financial problems? Put 100 pounds in that backpack.

Relationship problems? Add another 75 pounds.

Legal difficulties? Tack on 80 pounds more.

With all of these life stressors weighing us down, we would be lucky to remain standing much less continue to move forward.

How do we relieve ourselves of some of that burden?

First, make sure you are taking the time to engage in activities you used to enjoy. Most of the time, when we are over-stressed, we tell ourselves there is not enough time to watch movies, go to the beach, or spend time with friends. However, participating in these activities is exactly what we need to do to begin to feel better. When you make time to relax, you are removing some of the weight in your backpack.

Second, talk to someone -- a close friend, a family member or even a co-worker. They have probably experienced similar emotions and may have a technique that helps them cope. Sometimes, just sharing your worries and concerns with another person is enough to help us feel better. At the very least sharing your situation with others will make them aware of what you are experiencing and increase your support system.

Finally, if you feel you have reached rock-bottom or are contemplating suicide, please seek help immediately. Contact the Mental Health Clinic, go to the nearest ER, contact the chaplain, call 9-1-1, or tell a close friend or family member.  Everyone has their own breaking point and seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary issue.

The Mental Health Clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays and down days. A mental health provider is on-call during non-duty hours for emergency consultation and is always accessible through the command post (321) 494-7001.  For more information, call Patrick's Mental Health Clinic at (321) 494 -8234.