A common misconception about mass shootings is that it was caused by mental illnesses, but most people who live with mental illnesses aren’t violent, according to mentalhealth.gov.
In fact, people with mental health problems are more likely to be victims of violence.
Mental illnesses are incredibly common. In a given year, 20 percent of people will struggle with their mental health.
“Over their lifetime, people are almost guaranteed to deal with some kind of depression, some kind of anxiety, some kind of thing going on that they’re needing a little bit of extra help with,” said Ric Boyce, the director of Mental Health Specialists in Chubbuck and Blackfoot.
Often, people don’t even notice they’re struggling.
“Sometimes it’s our family members and friends around us saying, ‘Hey, you seem like you’re struggling a little bit,'” Boyce said.
Some warning signs to keep an eye out for are sleeping too much or too little, isolating oneself and even extreme mood swings.
“Hearing from a loved one, ‘Hey, I’ve struggled with some depression myself before, and I can see what I think you’re going through, too. This is what I did and it really helped me,’ can be some of the most valuable words that people ever hear,” Boyce said.
Talking about it is always the first step to getting help.
“Certainly counseling is something that is very valuable in helping address some of that, but also making sure we’re spending time around friends. Making sure that we’re taking steps in our lives to do things. Quite often we don’t even realize we’ve stopped going to the movies, or doing that hobby or going to the gym,” Boyce said.
There are several counseling resources throughout southeast Idaho. Most insurance companies cover mental health care, including Medicaid, but check with your provider if you don’t know.
In the case of an emergency, call 911 or visit your local emergency room.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Substance abuse – 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
Veterans – www.mentalhealth.va.gov
College students – www.ulifeline.org
LGBTQ – www.thetrevorproject.org
Eating disorders – www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Teen and youth – 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)