Avoiding Risk Factors for Depression and Suicide

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By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- Depression is real. Suicide is real. One Midlands counselor says the quicker people realize these facts, the more capable they will be to prevent and/or effectively deal with mental illness.

Q. La'Kisha Cross, a licensed professional counselor with Southeast Counseling & Consulting, LLC, says people who battle depression feel a sense of hopelessness they think cannot be overcome. She says signs that someone is battling depression and/or contemplating killing themselves include isolation, a lack/loss of interest in things they once deemed important, and extreme sadness. She also notes hearing people say things like, "I wish I weren't here," or "My family would be better off if I weren't here" are reasons to intervene immediately.

"Sometimes a simple conversation can be the difference between a life or death situation," said Cross.

In addition to conversing with the person, Cross claims encouraging the person to seek professional help is a positive step. Also, she says being present as a source of help and support is a good method.

"It's important that whatever happens, it happens right away."

If you or someone you know is dealing with problems and don't know which way to turn, you may call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

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