Free training teaches how to help those who are depressed or suicidal
Feeling down once in a while is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last weeks or months, it could be depression, a serious mood disorder that can affect the way a person feels, acts and thinks, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A person who experienced depression when they were younger may be more likely to have depression as an older adult, according to the organization. Those who are depressed are encouraged to talk to their doctor and get help. The NIH reports there are many things that may be risk factors for depression. For some people, changes in the brain can affect mood and result in depression. Others may experience depression after a major life event, such as a medical diagnosis or loved one’s death. Sometimes those under a lot of stress—especially people who care for loved ones with a serious illness or disability—can feel depressed. Others may become depressed for no clear reason, the NIH explains.
“There isn’t a single cause for depression or any mental illness, but high risk factors in older adults include social isolation, terminal illness, feeling like a burden, among mental health illnesses or substance use challenges,” according to Amira Abdulhafid. program director for Suicide Prevention for GUIDE, Inc. GUIDE was formed in 1986, as a joint effort between the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Abdulhafid said free training is available from GUIDE to everyone who lives or works in Gwinnett, and is especially geared toward those who work with young people, such as teachers, coaches, foster parents and youth leaders. Training is done both virtually and in-person. It teaches adults how to help young people who might be having problems or issues, including those who might be considering suicide.
“We have adults of all ages in our training classes,” Abdulhafid said. “While we are an organization that focuses on youth development and substance use and suicide prevention among the youth population, we do the majority of our training with adults that either have or work with kids. For our suicide prevention training, people sign up to be able to learn what to do in a crisis situation and different approaches in helping someone. While we’re focusing on youth and the prevalence of suicide and mental illness in their population, the steps and information provided in the training can be used for any age.”
She said baby boomers often sign up for the free training because they work with youth or they are a parent, guardian or grandparent and want to know how to help a child in their own family. Foster parents get involved because some of the children they foster may be going through a hard time, she added.
To find out more about how to help people through GUIDE and the free training it offers, visit www.guideinc.org.