The Couch serves as immediate care for mental illness - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

The Couch serves as immediate care for mental illness

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Three months ago, Dr. Frankel opened The Couch, an immediate care center for mental illness, one of the first of its kind in the country. Three months ago, Dr. Frankel opened The Couch, an immediate care center for mental illness, one of the first of its kind in the country.
Psychiatrist Dr. Ora Frankel Psychiatrist Dr. Ora Frankel
Pastor Dave Stone Pastor Dave Stone

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – For some time on Tuesday Jefferson County Public Schools shut down access to YouTube and Twitter after a video message was posted by a Louisville Male High School student just a short time before she took her own life.

Although suicides are not normally covered on the news because so many people have viewed the video, it's important to be reminded of some of the resources out there that can help. Twenty additional grief counselors were at the school all day to allow students to talk to someone whenever they needed to.

The family of the Male High School student said: "She [name redacted] made friends everywhere, was very active in school, great student and active in church but she suffered from depression and didn't reach out for help."

Psychiatrist Dr. Ora Frankel hopes the day comes when mental illness receives the same compassion as any other disease.

"If we take the stigma away and just look at it as that, you know it presents the certain sounds and symptoms that are emotional or behavioral and then we attempt to figure out how to treat that best," said Frankel.

Three months ago, Dr. Frankel opened The Couch, an immediate care center for mental illness, one of the first of its kind in the country. It's a place patients can receive psychiatry and counseling services on a walk-in basis. She deals a lot with people suffering from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

"Most suicides are impulsive acts, most kids had they waited just a little bit longer might not have carried it out, so people can go on for years with suicidal ideations, but the actual completion of a suicide attempt is often very impulsive," said Frankel.

A man who sees the effects suicide has on families all too often is Pastor Dave Stone of Southeast Christian Church.  

"Suicide has a way of having a ripple effect and so it is tough on everyone," said Stone.

"Anytime there is a self inflicted wound that takes the life of a person you have to say they weren't thinking clearly or they never would have made that choice."

Southeast Christian Church also has a full counseling ministry and several support groups for people of all ages dealing with tough times.  

"I think it is tough to be a teenager these days and social media can help, but social media can also hurt and that's why having those friendships, having open dialogue back and forth with mom and dad can really be of help to a kid," said Stone.

One of the things that increases the chances of suicidal thoughts in children and teens is a friend or peer who recently committed suicide.

Questions to discuss with children:

  • "If this were to happen, how would you handle it?"
  • "If one of your really good friends told you that they were feeling that their life was pointless and that they wanted to die, how would you handle that?"
  • "If you felt that way, how would you handle that?"
For more information on The Couch, click here. 

Additional resources available are:

 

  • Seven Counties has a 24-hour child crisis line available. They do counselor assessments no matter the time of day. All you have to do is call (502) 589-8070. You can also visit Seven Counties website by clicking here.
  • To view facts about suicide and suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health, click here.
  • To read tips on how to have a conversation about suicide, click here.
  • For information from JCPS concerning suicide, click here.
Funeral Information for Maddie Yates is as follows:
Visitation – Friday, April, 18 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Memorial Gardens East, located at 11601 Ballardsville Road.
Funeral – Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at Southeast Christian Church
A fund for donations has been established at Republic Bank under the name Maddie Yates.

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