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Your neighbors need you

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 11/11/19

It's that time of year when the urges to check on neighbors reach fever pitch. The snow has begun to fall, the walkways have begun to get icy, and many a neighbor in our community faces difficulty …

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Your neighbors need you

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It's that time of year when the urges to check on neighbors reach fever pitch. The snow has begun to fall, the walkways have begun to get icy, and many a neighbor in our community faces difficulty hefting a snow shovel or navigating a slippery path.

Check on those neighbors.

But don't stop there.

Check too on those neighbors who tend to get a little down.

The New York State Department of Health estimates more than 1 in 5 New Yorkers has at least some symptoms of a mental disorder and each year an estimated 1 in 10 (that's adults and kids) experience mental health challenges serious enough to affect functioning in work, family and school life.

Here in Sullivan County, our suicide mortality rate is 13.9 per 100,000 residents. That's nearly double the state-wide rate of 7.5.

Here in Sullivan County, 14.2 percent of adults report 14 or more days with poor mental health in the last month. Again, this tops state averages.

Add in seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that tends to take root in the fall and last through the winter months, especially affecting people who live in colder northeastern climates, and ‘tis the season for mental health crises.

Many a neighbor in our community struggles to get out of bed this time of year. Many a neighbor in our community struggles to stop drinking this time of year. Many a neighbor in our community struggles.

They need our check ins too.

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