on a high note
Woodbridge Nonprofit Creates Mental Health Workbook By Dawn Klavon
ental health has gained more attention over the past two years, as the pandemic shined a bright light on anxiety, depression, and suicide. Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst died by suicide earlier this year, bringing suicide front and center to the public eye. Now Trillium Center, a Woodbridgebased nonprofit, offers Hope Awakened, a workbook with the goal of turning the tide of suicide in America. The authors walk the walk and talk the talk: Hope Awakened was created by a courageous team of individuals affiliated with the organization, each with their own perspective as a person who has attempted and considered suicide or merely wished the pain to end. Now they are thriving and want to offer a worthwhile lifeline through sharing their experiences, to save as many lives as possible of those who may be overwhelmed and suffering silently. “I had never read or seen a peer inspired book/workbook that not only lets people know that they aren't alone and also offers different work activities that come from shared and different views,” said Robert, a member of Trillium’s team. For privacy reasons, PWL will not use last names of the book’s authors.
An Increasing Need The need is apparent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,500 people. Hope Awakened addresses common struggles
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faced by those considering suicide. “Our desire was to reach even more people in Prince William,” said Trillium Center Executive Director Cynthia Dudley. “In our days of COVID, mental health challenges are on the rise, especially with symptoms of anxiety and depression.” According to the CDC, in 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.
Tools for Growth The workbook offers help to maintain mental health, activities to build coping skills and resilience, a plan for what to do when a crisis occurs, calming techniques when anxiety begins, tools for increased self-awareness and self-determination, and a guide to being your best self. “Regardless of whether or not someone identifies as having a mental illness, these are amazing tips for life, for coping with