Mid-Michigan doctor shares signs of mental illness

Suicide prevention is in the spotlight as country music fans mourn the death of Naomi Judd.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 3:55 PM EDT
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Mich. (WNEM) - Suicide prevention is in the spotlight as country music fans mourn the death of Naomi Judd.

Her daughters, Wynnona and Ashley, made the announcement that they lost their mother to the “Disease of Mental Illness” on Saturday.

Barb Smith is the executive director of the Barb Smith Suicide Resource and Response Network said this shows there are no boundaries to mental Illness.

“To me it’s just very sad and devastating to know that such a beautiful human being had so much to give the world but in her mind, you know, her world had stopped,” Smith said.

There are signs to look out for in people dealing with mental health issues.

“Oftentimes people who are struggling with their mental health or thoughts of suicide, might start isolating himself, increase alcohol substance use not being able to get out of bed or not functioning the way they previously had,” Smith said.

Smith said the fight to prevent suicides and to help those with mental illness is a community wide struggle.

“We the people, not just mental health professionals or primary care but family members, community members and coworkers. That if we can learn these lifesaving skills, learn how to have conversations, we can better prevent future deaths to suicide. We can’t we can’t prevent all but we can prevent the majority if you learn this skill,” Smith said.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States with more than 45,000 deaths reported in 2020.

“I don’t know that we’re saving, you know, that we can save that person’s life forever. But I know that we can help save the individual’s life in the moment,” Smith said.