Dr. Shannon answers the Heartland’s mental health questions

Ask Dr. Shannon: Suicide and crisis lifeline 988.
Published: Sep. 3, 2023 at 8:41 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Dr. Shannon Cubria Farris is a clinical psychologist. He will be a guest on The Breakfast Show on Sunday mornings, answering viewers’ questions about mental health.

You can join in the conversation by submitting anonymous questions here.

September is Suicide Awareness month, and Dr. Shannon answers a suicide related question from a viewer.

The viewer says, “I have a question for Dr. Shannon on Sunday morning. How does a mother get through the loss of a child from suicide? It’s been 21 years and almost every night when I close my eyes to go to sleep I relive it all over again. I am on anti-depressants. I cope most of the time but so many times I cry myself to sleep.”

Dr. Shannon says people cope with grief and loss in many different ways and there is no right or wrong way to do it. He recommends connecting with other survivors of suicide loss, getting the help you need from a therapist, letting your friends be there for you, and reconnecting with your usual activities.

It’s also important to know the warning sides of suicide. According to Dr. Shannon, some behaviors might include talking about wanting to die, great guilt or shame, or being a burden to others. Feeling empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live, being extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage, and unbearable emotional or physical pain. Changes in behavior can also be a warning sign like making a plan or researching ways to die, withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, giving away important items, or making a will Taking dangerous risks such as driving extremely fast, displaying extreme mood swings, eating or sleeping more or less and using drugs or alcohol more often.

“If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently,” Dr. Shannon said.

Dr. Shannon also shared multiple resources for anyone who needs help.

Mental health affects everyone, whether it’s directly or indirectly. It affects friends, family members, co-workers, and other people in your life. According to Dr. Shannon, you don’t have true health until you have your mental health. Dr. Shannon’s goal is to work together with people and create a safe space to talk about mental health in a way that truly matters.

Dr. Shannon can answer questions about mental illness, dealing with mental illness, working with your children or family members and more. If Dr. Shannon doesn’t have all of the answers, he will find an expert who will be able to answer you.

He hopes these conversations about mental health can lend themselves to a little bit more understanding of what might be going on. He wants the Heartland to lean in with curiosity about situations, especially when it’s uncomfortable.