Posts Tagged ‘mental health’
The Suicide Crisis
On the show and on this blog, I’ve talked a lot about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline that provides access to trained counselors for those going through the hardest of times. Last year, the Dr. Phil show worked with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to intensify suicide prevention efforts during the economic crisis, as more and more people are grappling with job loss, foreclosures and debt.
I’m so proud to announce that all of our efforts are paying off. This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a report saying that more people are becoming aware of the Lifeline and its 147 call centers. The year-over-year increase in suicide prevention hotline calls rose by almost 15 percent between 2008 and 2009. The report directly attributes the increase in calls to the Dr. Phil show and to Internet providers who are promoting the Lifeline. For instance, Google now posts the Lifeline’s toll-free phone number at the top of the page when users type in “suicide” or “kill myself.” Also, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube are now providing information about the national hotline. (more…)
A PRISM Award for the "Dr. Phil" Show
I am so proud to say that a show we did earlier this year on OCD — obsessive-compulsive disorder — has won a prestigious PRISM Award from the Entertainment Industries Council. The council puts on a nationally-televised awards show recognizing the best and most accurate depictions of substance abuse and addiction, as well as mental health issues, in film, television, interactive media, music, DVD and comic book entertainment. PRISM Award submissions are put through a rigorous nomination review process, judged by members of the creative community and scientific experts for “entertainment value,” “accessibility of the message,” and “scientific accuracy.” After all the submissions were reviewed, our OCD show was recognized as the “Best Talk Show Episode.” (more…)
Teens under Pressure
If there’s one thing I can count on when Maggie The Wonder Dog and I come in to the studio each day, it’s that my inbox is going to be jammed with thousands of e-mails about parenting. I get questions about curfews, discipline, tantrums — you name it. I take all of your issues seriously, but I’m especially concerned when I get letters from parents who fear that their child is on the brink of taking his or her life.
As much as we hate to think about our loved ones choosing this tragic behavior, death by suicide is on the rise. In fact, it’s the third leading cause of death among teens. Sixty percent of teens say they’ve thought about it, and nine percent of high schoolers admit that they have attempted it at least once. I’m convinced that so many teens today are under great pressure — pressure to succeed, pressure to get the best grades, pressure to be accepted to a “name brand” college — and too many of them are burning out and making self-destructive decisions. (more…)
Mental Illness and Motherhood, Part 2
Imagine that you and your husband are unable to conceive, so you seek out a surrogate who agrees to carry donor eggs and sperm for you. You set up a nursery and fill it with a crib, blankets and baby clothes. Then the surrogate mother delivers beautiful twins — a son and a daughter. Now imagine one month later, getting a knock on your door and finding out that the babies you thought belonged to you have to be surrendered to the surrogate.
That’s what intended parents Scott and Amy Kehoe say happened to them when their surrogate Shelly Baker reclaimed the twins she carried for them after she says she learned that Amy has a mental illness. After Shelly’s appearance on the show, the blog and the message boards were buzzing! I know, because I read your comments. Many of you felt that Shelly’s decision was just wrong and selfish, while others believed that the surrogate mom did the right thing by allegedly protecting the kids. (more…)
Mental Illness and Motherhood
Today’s show is one of the most controversial issues I think I’ve ever dealt with, and emotions ran high onstage and in the audience. A guest named Shelly agreed to be the surrogate for Amy and Scott Kehoe, carrying donor eggs and sperm. Although Shelly gave birth to twins, a few weeks later, she demanded that the babies be returned to her care. According to her, Amy withheld important information about her past, including a criminal record and having been diagnosed with a mental disorder.
Everyone who watches the show knows that I’m a child advocate, and I believe we should do everything in our power to protect our kids. But what would you have done in Shelly’s situation? Did she have a right to demand that the twins be returned? Should a mental illness prevent a woman from being a mother? I really want to hear from you about this one.