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Mental health community reacts to Meghan Markle interview

'I think it’s another incremental step forward,' a doctor said
Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 22:14:45-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Conversations around mental health are continuing to take center stage after Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex said her royal life in London left her with suicidal thoughts.

“First of all, I want to congratulate her on having the strength to stand up and talk about it,” Katrina Sheffield said.

Sheffield is a suicide prevention advocate. For her it’s personal.

“That’s how I got involved, pulling our baby daughter, she had just turned 15 two weeks before that, out of a tub with crimson blood,” she said.

Sheffield’s daughter survived. Later she found out her daughter was a part of a suicide pact.

“It affects your whole household, your whole home,” she said.

Sheffield said they’ve worked together as a family to heal and now are focused on helping others. She believes Meghan’s story can shine a brighter spotlight on the issue.

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“By her now speaking out about it, I think it will make so many more people aware of it, that it’s okay that I’m having this problem, or my kid is having this problem,” Sheffield said.

“A huge percentage of both adolescents and adults have considered suicide at some point,” Dr. Raphi Wald said.

Dr. Wald is a licensed psychologist he said there are sometimes warning signs.

“Depressed mood, which is complicated term but simply stated it just means that you really aren’t happy,” he said. “Anhedonia which means you have a hard time enjoying things that people normally enjoy.”

Dr. Wald said there’s still a lot to do be done when it comes to suicide awareness and prevention.

“I think it’s another incremental step forward which is a positive thing,” Dr. Wald said. “But I don’t necessarily consider it a game-changer.”

If you are having suicidal thoughts, help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 800-273-8255, 211 also operates a 24/7 hotline.