When my brother died by suicide five years ago, we were speechless. Despite the ways he struggled personally, we never considered suicide as a possibility for him. In an instant, mental health became more real to me.
My opinions, preconceived ideas, and stigmas changed. Before his death, I don’t remember any conversations I’d had about the topic. With the ever-rising suicide rates and the latest media attention surrounding suicide, there is an increased need to shine more light on mental health. Starting conversations about mental health and wellness are crucial to fighting against stigma and giving people the tools needed to identify signs and symptoms with their own loved ones.
The High Desert Mental Health Summit held at High Desert Church (HDC) last week aimed to gather and create a community of professionals, advocates, and those with life experience to start a conversation about mental health. Conference partners, St. Mary’s Community Health and HDC organized this conference geared toward medical professionals as well as the general public by introducing the new segmented format, which was a change from l