Anne Fridh, Administrator of Rosecrance Ware Center, speaks about mental illness in wake of Robin Williams’ death

Anne Fridh, Administrator of Rosecrance Ware Center, speaks about mental health in an article written by Melissa Westphal from the Rockford Register Star.

In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, 39,518 suicides were reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention noted that the numbers make suicide the 10th-leading cause of death for Americans.

Rosecrance Health Network fields calls for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline when people call from the 815 area code.

The lifeline rings to a phone at Rosecrance’s triage center at the downtown Ware Center. The triage center is a voluntary facility where adult patients stay temporarily while they’re evaluated for treatment.

“We help people who are feeling afraid and worried that they’re going to hurt themselves,” Ware administrator and psychologist Anne Fridh said. “We’re constantly reaching out to folks, and they’re reaching out to us.

“Mental illness is something that can affect anybody. One thing to remember is that mental illness is much like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Folks struggle with it during a certain period of time and they continue to manage it.”

Fridh said self-destruction is a “very painful end, not just for the person who commits suicide but for the family members left behind.”

Rosecrance will host a Mental Health First Aid session Oct. 10 aimed at understanding and responding to the signs of mental illness and substance abuse.

“A lot of people don’t want to talk about it. There’s certainly a stigma about why they didn’t get the help they needed, if the family member knew it was going to happen. That’s not always the case. Sometimes there are signs, and sometimes there aren’t,” Fridh said.

“I think the stigma is mostly related to the fact that people don’t really understand how you can get yourself to the point where (suicide) is the only option left. They don’t understand how depression puts that in people’s minds, how really overwhelming the illness can become.”

The median age for a depression diagnosis is 32, Fridh said. The median age has increased as more older adults are found to have depression, in part because people are living longer.


You can read the entire article here on the Rockford Register Star’s website.