As a healthcare professional, reading yesterday's article in the Times & Transcript on NB's suicide rate definitely comes as a concern to myself, and most likely, many of you reading it.
The article says that our province hit a high of 14.7 cases per 100,000 residents. This is quite staggering, when you compare Ontario's high of 8.9 cases per 100, 000.
What's more shocking is that 70% of those who committed suicide had visited their family doctor within 3 months of their death. Having resources to help individuals struggling with depression, it's heartbreaking to think that we have not created an efficient networking system among all healthcare (public and private) services.
I am writing this in hopes of helping someone in need.
How can Naturopathic Medicine help?
1. Building genuine relationships with my patients creates the necessary SUPPORT to face depression.
2. Using practices like acupuncture combined with counselling maintains REGULAR VISITS - this prevents things from building up to a point where they no longer seem or feel manageable.
3. Using natural anti-depressants like Herbal Medicine, to lift mood, we MINIMIZE a common SIDE EFFECTS of anti-depressants (Suicidal ideation - counterintuitive, right? - this is an especially true side effect for adolescents using these medications).
4. We encourage a TEAM APPROACH. Having multiple healthcare providers working for you, not only optimizes your chances of feeling better but it makes sure warning signs don't slip through the cracks. If suicide is imminent, the hospital is necessary, but you will have the continued support leading up to and after the time you spend there.
If you're struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, you are 100% not alone. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can start feeling better. And if you don't get the help you need the fist time (or second time), Naturopathic Medicine is a worthy resource.
Dr. Jodie Tatlock
NB Toll-Free Crisis Line 1-800-667-5005