St. Barnabas Offering Free Mental Health Screenings for Suicide Prevention Month
Toms River-According to the National Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 90 percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and to raise awareness of the symptoms and diagnose illness before a suicide attempt occurs, Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center will host free mental health screenings on September 13.
“Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape feelings of sadness and pain that have become unbearable. A suicidal person may have feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and self-loathing and may not see a way of finding relief,” said Arshad Siddiqui, MD, psychiatrist and medical director of the Stepping Stones Intensive Outpatient Program at Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center in Toms River.
Stepping Stones is an intensive outpatient program aimed at addressing these unique and broad mental health issues. The program is tailored to treat a wide range of disorders, including depression, anxiety, grief and other mood disorders. For those suffering from co-occurring substance abuse disorders, the program provides addiction recovery groups and other treatment modalities.
Major warning signs for suicide include talking about killing or harming oneself, seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as drugs or weapons and self-destructive behavior, as well as previous attempts. Other risk factors include substance abuse, family history of suicide attempts, giving away one’s possessions and increased isolation.
“A suicidal person may not ask for help verbally, but may be displaying signs or symptoms that can tell us that they need help. Being well informed and diligent in our interactions may help prevent these unfortunate events,” says Dr. Siddiqui.
Mental health professionals from the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offer a variety of free, confidential mental health screenings each month. This month’s free screenings, which include depression screenings, will take place on Thursday, September 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, located at 1691 U.S. Highway 9 in Toms River.
The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers an extensive array of high-quality, clinically-focused programs. These programs include a 100-bed acute care psychiatric facility which provides inpatient and intensive outpatient programs for adults and older adults diagnosed with psychiatric and dual disorders. At the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, the multidisciplinary staff includes experienced professionals in nearly every facet of behavioral health care. This allows us to provide truly customized and highly specialized treatment tracks, as well as programs for the dually diagnosed.
For more information or to schedule an appointment or make a referral, please call the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Access Center, available 24-hours a day, at 1.800.300.0628.