Mental health experts spreading message of help and hope

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade within a few days of one another, mental health experts are trying to get the word out that there is help and there is hope.

Unfortunately, many times after a high profile death by suicide, we see a spike in other cases.

That's the last thing we want to see, so mental health professionals are on high alert and as always, there are services available to help.

Crisis workers are standing by, fielding calls in Montgomery County all day, every day. They also go out to see people in person to help. News of two high profile deaths by suicide in one week seems shocking, but experts say mental health problems are not uncommon.

"This mobile crisis sees about 700 to 750 people a month and I would say more than 75-percent are connected to suicide," said Jessica Fenchel, Access Services.

I spoke with one woman over the phone about her past struggles and how mobile crisis intervened.

"I was reaching out because I felt hopeless. It helped to talk to someone to get a different perspective," she said. Adding, "I'm very thankful because now I'm doing much better.

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Anthony Bourdain dies at 61 in apparent suicide, CNN says. Watch this report from Action News at Noon on June 8, 2018.

Mental health workers are hoping that's the message people get - that treatment through counseling and or medication works.

The CDC reports a 25 percent jump in the suicide rate since 1999.

Psychologist Thea Gallagher at Penn Medicine says even though there's more awareness and more services available, the statistics show much more needs to be done.

Multiple factors likely led to Kate Spade's death, say experts - Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5pm on June 6, 2018.

"It forces us to think about how we can do better, how can we start preventative measures at a younger age, in schools, higher ed in the workplace," she said.

"We want people to feel comfortable talking and to know there is help out there for them," said Fenchel.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline reports a 25 percent increase in their number of calls this past week.

If you're struggling or you know someone who may need help, reach out, talk to them and make sure they're getting help.

You can also check with your local county about services there, most communities do have them.

If you are looking for help, contact one of the following:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: 741741
Montgomery County Crisis Hotline: 1-855-634-HOPE.

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