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“I just want to be a voice for people that are struggling” – Lauren Hope talks about her mental health at General Assembly
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Lauren Hope talks about her mental health at General Assembly

Former TV journalist Lauren Hope is spreading awareness about mental health and has started the initiative through the United Nations General Assembly. “I just want to be a voice for people that are struggling” she said. Hope struggled with depression for several years and later quit her job, survived suicide and became homeless. Faith in the Almighty, help from some strangers, medication and counseling helped her overcome the struggles and evolve into a better human being. She now works as a peer recovery specialist in the Hampton Roads area to help people in crisis.

Hope does not mind sharing her story and shared it with a purpose to help people shed the stigma associated with mental illnesses. That’s the reason why she decided to inspire others on the Mental Health Advocacy day at the General Assembly. She is glad “because people have been able to see me get up, it makes them feel like they can get up too.” She is also associating with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to press for increased sponsorship to facilitate community service boards, permanent housing for people grappling with serious mental illness and also for Medicaid expansion. She hopes to do something for millions for people who cannot access health care services because of the lack of insurance and their lack of willingness to seek support. After the Mental Health Advocacy Day, she plans to participate in a retreat in Richmond which will be centered around mental illness.

Tips to overcome suicidal thoughts

Sometimes, nothing goes as planned and one might feel dejected and saturated. That is the moment when one might feel so vulnerable that he or she actually starts having suicidal thoughts. During those moments, it is important to remember that suicide is not a solution. No matter what happens, there is always a way out. If the person shows some resilience and adopts a few strategies, it can help him/her to tide over the suicidal thoughts and believe in living again.

  1. Avoiding alcohol and other substances – Studies have shown that people who are addicted to alcohol and other substances are susceptible to feeling more suicidal than the ones who do not indulge. Craving for momentary relief invites long-term negative consequences. It is better to adopt a healthier lifestyle and stay away from drugs and alcohol.
  2. Accepting that one is in control of your thought process – Whenever one feels suicidal, it is extremely important to remember that one is in control of his or her thought process and suicidal thoughts are negative, of no consequences and only fleeting. One can practice meditation and mindfulness techniques to kill anxiety and depression that pave the way for suicidal thinking.
  3. Falling in love with self – One must be kind and compassionate to the self. This can be achieved by doing things that one loves like traveling to some place, buying something new, pursuing a hobby, meeting with friends or going for a short trip and taking the much-deserved break from the mundane life. One should also maintain a fine balance between the personal and professional life so that he/she does not feel burned out.
  4. Taking care of the body – This can be achieved by discarding all sorts of junk food from the body and eating fresh fruits and vegetables and wholefoods, and keeping the body hydrated with sufficient water. In addition, one should spend some time on a physical activity every day as it improves the brain chemistry of happy hormones. One must also foster adequate sleeping habits.
  5. Taking help – Sometimes, despite our best of intentions, we cannot come out of the vicious cycle of negative thought process. That is the time when one should seek professional help immediately. Delaying the matter worsens the situation and minimizes the chances of recovery.

Dealing with mental illness

The beauty of life is that it keeps on throwing challenges to us so that we keep on evolving at all fronts and do not entertain negative thoughts. However, if we are unable to lift the blanket of negativity, we should not think twice about reaching out for professional support, which can help us in resolving our behavioral issues and other underlying problems like addiction.

Sovereign Health of Arizona is a women-only residential rehabilitation center located in Chandler. Our treatment programs are based on the philosophy that recognizes patients’ unique circumstances by providing them with personalized plans tailored to their specific needs. The facility is one of the best among the dual diagnosis treatment centers for women in Arizona providing its patients with continued care in a safe and supportive environment. If you have any query, call the 24/7 helpline number or contact our experts via online chat to know more about our dual-diagnosis rehabilitation programs to treat women with mental health or substance-abuse-related problems.

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