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"If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
– George Washington  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 5 May 2019  

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Michelle Barrette

  
  By Michelle Barrette

   Well, itís finally spring ó at least itís May, and what a busy month it is. May is all about Motherís Day and Memorial Day. And 70 years ago, the Mental Health Association designated May as Mental Health Month. We addressed mental health in this issue.
   
   Lindsey Harrison wrote an article on the topic of survivorís guilt, which is a fairly new term in the mental health arena. Survivorís guilt can result in suicides, which recently happened in Florida.
   
   Two students committed suicide in March ó one year after the Feb. 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students. Both suicide victims were survivors of that school shooting. Sydney Aiello had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. She was a student at Stoneman Douglas at the time of the shooting and a close friend of hers lost his life that day. She committed suicide March 17. Less than a week later, Calvin Desir, a sophomore at Stoneman Douglas, committed suicide.
   
   Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10 to 24.
   
   According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, ďHalf of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24.Ē It can be years from the onset of symptoms to an individualís treatment for mental illness.
   
   As we recognize Memorial Day this month, the suicide rate among military veterans is staggering. Each day, an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide. The good news is that the military is getting much better about recognizing and treating mental illness and PTSD among veterans.
   
   And, as a nation, we are getting better at mental health education and access to treatment. But there is a long way to go. Health care in this country is still in a state of disarray, and we have to demand that our legislators fix it in a way that satisfies everyone.
   
   On a more uplifting note, Motherís Day is around the corner. For me, Motherís Day will be extra special this year because my mom, my sister and I will be celebrating together. My mom lives out of state, and itís not often that the three of us are in the same town for Motherís Day.
   
   Also, check out Phun Photos for a real look at Motherís Day. And there are plenty of fun and informative articles in this monthís issue.
   
   I hope all of the moms out there enjoy their day, and donít forget to thank a veteran on Memorial Day.
   
   - Michelle
   
   Correction: In the April issue, we incorrectly referred to the Super Moon as the ďsnow moon,Ē and we listed the wrong date the photo was taken. The Super Worm Blood Moon was March 20, and the photo was taken from Robin Widmarís backyard ó sorry, Robin.

   

   Photo by Robin Widmar.
  
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