MIRECC / CoE
Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention
Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: Why’s it gotta be this hard? (Maybe it doesn’t)
23 August 2017
Sometimes it can feel like making real progress in mental health (and perhaps especially suicide prevention) is an overwhelming, sometimes impossible task. How can we counter the “bigness” of the job? Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder of Give an Hour, gives this advice: Go Simple. Offer simple actions, like donating an hour weekly. Play to individual’s strengths, and build big change by harnessing the collective power of many individual’s “small” contributions.
Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction use this same strategy. “The Five Signs” help create a common language, and everyday way to
talk about mental health in a way all people can relate. In this podcast, Barbara talks about some of the ways Give an Hour and Campaign to Change Direction gives individuals, workplaces, cities and states tools to make incremental changes that lead to big, positive change.
Give an Hour began with a simple idea (provide free mental health services to Veterans, service members, and their families). But though its origins and methods may be simple, its goal is to bring about a fundamental shift: empower each of us to recognize and respond to emotional/mental suffering just as knowledgably and compassionately as physical.
The Campaign to Change Direction site offers multiple ways to become involved, and find small ways to make a real difference. Many tools, real world and virtual (including social media) can be found on their outreach page.
Learn more about how Give an Hour and Campaign to Change Direction are changing lives, city by city and state by state, and some of the creative ways advocates are tackling silence around mental health and suicide:
- The State of Indiana pledges to Change Direction on Mental Health
- Corporate America joins to help promote workplace wellness
- VFW features mental health and Give an Hour
- Art and poetry have the power to change the conversation. Read the collaborative poem “Notice Me” here.
“Take my calloused hand, it’s fought the fight you are fighting. I have won my own battle and have a passion still worth lighting. I’m not here to judge you, or get in your way. I’m just here to be with you, if you want me to stay.” – From the group poem “Notice Me (https://www.changedirection.org/7779-2/)”
The podcast is approximately 43 minutes long.
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Categories: Suicide Prevention