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Suicide Prevention Month: Live with ABC News

ABC News: Talking Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

I had to wake at 4:30 am to be ready for 6:00 am LIVE broadcast with Crystal Costa, Co-Anchor of ABC15 Good Morning Carolinas.  Nobody wants to wake up at 4:30 am, but I jumped out of bed, got ready, and arrived in plenty of time to go LIVE.

Join us for the Myrtle Beach Speak Up ; Reach Out 5K on December 8, 2018 Market Commons, Myrtle Beach at 8:00 am.  Event Information.

Here is what impressed me.  ABC News was supportive, obviously, to put Teen Suicide and Mental Health on the air for their audience.  That just hits me in the heart.  I am very grateful.

Crystal Costa asked me about the stigma associated with mental health while we were LIVE and I replied with, "We need to be talking and the more we talk the more permission we are giving people to be open and talk about their mental wellness."  The stigma will continue to prevent us from growing and being more accepting of mental health if people continue to shy away from discussing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions.  We need to be comfortable talking with one another and knowing we will be supported.

This isn't just suicide prevention and mental illness.  I like to think my work is more about mental wellness.  Although I work in teen suicide prevention and crisis intervention in school communities my visits are downers.  They're upbeat and the message I like to say I bring is: Where are we? Who are we? Where are we going?  How are we going to get there?  It doesn't do any good for anyone to visit where we've been through loss.  It changes nothing.  My job is to get people to open their hearts and realize that we all have to go through a grieving process and for each person that time it takes to go through the process is different for each person.  You have to be open to understanding though that you have to go through this.  Then, my job is to take them from where they are now emotionally and give them the approval to move forward or come to acceptance in the grieving.  I do that by talking about life, the journey of ups and downs, being resilient, having a positive mindset, and telling my audiences three things make a difference in my life: Attitude, Choices, and Behaviors.

I talk a lot about my mental illness.  I'm diagnosed with major depression, bi-polar type 2, and PTSD.  Quickly, I share that I am not a victim and neither are they (my audience).  That's a mindset.  I am a victor because although I am a man that lives with mental illness and it's not my fault it is my responsibility.  It's my responsibility to be aware of triggers, my emotions, my thoughts, etc.  I need to practice self-care so that when triggers happen I am not reacting, but I can respond appropriately.  Being aware and accepting of my mental illness and working on myself every day, I am the healthiest I've ever been.  Literally, I am a new person.  I am not who I was even two years ago and that is because I have and continue to do the work.

This is what I wish I could get across to our youth, our schools, our teachers and parents.  That mental health is about looking at yourself and getting to know who you are.  Doing the work I am in a much better place personally and professionally.  Can you imagine if everyone would take time to get to know themselves and be more open about talking with friends and family about their emotions and thoughts?  WOW!

So, today ABC News here in Myrtle Beach invited me to talk about Mental Health and the 5K my foundation is hosting in December.  December 8, 2018 Market Common, Myrtle Beach is going to be our First Annual Speak Up ; Reach Out 5K supporting our schools and the community.  Super excited we got to talk mental health on the air with ABC today.

The more we talk the more we are reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.  Join the movement and let people know it's OK to talk and ask for help.

Thanks ABC15, Crystal Costa, Matt, and Zach for a fun time this morning and believing in our mission and cause.

Who is Jeff Yalden?

Jeff Yalden is a mental health speaker and celebrity life coach who specializes in suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Jeff is also the founder and Executive Director of The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to prevent suicide, improve community mental health, and shatter the stigma of mental health by initiating a positive movement to speak up and reach out.

Help us make a difference!

All donations directly support the mission, programs, and initiatives of The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc.

Make a donation on this website, learn more about Jeff Yalden by visiting the Foundation page, subscribe to Jeff’s podcast, Mental Health & Motivation, browse his available online training courses, or learn more about his life coaching services here