Mental health prevalence doubles during the pandemic, find ways to help during Suicide Awareness month


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — September is Suicide Awareness month, World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10 and National Suicide Prevention Week runs Sept. 5 through Sept. 11. Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in Tennessee and the 10th cause in Knox County.

Ben Harrington, the CEO of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee says the pandemic has had a terrible impact on mental health. During the pandemic, he says mental health prevalence doubled during the pandemic from one in five people to two in five people.

For people who are worried about their mental health, Harrington says to look for a paradigm shift in their normal behavior. An example of this is when something you enjoyed doing, you no longer have interest in.

The Mental Health Association of East Tennessee has a number of mental health screenings that can help people identify whether they may be experiencing symptoms commonly associated with an illness and determine whether a follow-up is recommended. If you need to speak with someone right now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-talk.

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