‘Your story is not over’: Psychologist talks awareness on World Suicide Prevention Day

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — World Suicide Prevention Day, a day organized by the International Association of Suicide Prevention, offers an opportunity to have a conversation that can be difficult.

“The more we talk about things that are issues, the less taboo they become,” Psychologist Dr. Erika Geisler said.

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Geisler, specializing in relationships, emphasizes the importance of reaching out.

“If somebody’s having suicidal ideation, it’s important to reach out to get help,” she said. “Talk to a mental health therapist, talk to a friend. Reach out and get help and make people aware that you’re having these thoughts and feelings and you don’t have to do it alone.”

As the sun begins to set sooner and days become shorter, seasonal depression can occur for some people.

Geisler says COVID-19 could elevate the effects of depression and anxiety.

“People are really struggling with isolation, financial issues, job loss, emotional isolation, kids being home all the time, being with your spouse all the time. You name it, people are struggling with it,” Geisler said. “There’s a lot of fear in our environment right now. With the election coming up, with coronavirus, there’s a lot going on for everybody. So I think it’s important that we’re talking about it as opposed to ignoring it.”

She says to pay extra attention to your loved ones, if there is a sudden behavior change like no longer getting ready in the morning or losing interest in activities they enjoy.

“If you start to notice that things are a little bit off, ask questions,” Geisler said. “Don’t just ignore it and think that people are okay, because right now a lot of people aren’t okay.”

Dr. Erika Geisler reminds those feeling depressed, anxious or discouraged that there is hope.

“We’re really in this together and as a community we can get through it,” she said. “And through it means we’re not at our final spot right now, but we’re going through life and so don’t stop now. Your story is not over, there’s so much more, don’t give up, there’s always hope.”

For more information on Dr. Erika Geisler and her services, visit her website.

For suicide prevention resources, click here or call 800-273-8255.