A new survey suggests nearly HALF of all Americans have reported distress since COVID-19. And some reports suggest suicide rates, already the SECOND leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10-34, will continue to climb, with an increase of approximately 4,000 additional suicides and 4,800 overdose deaths predicted this year. But there is hope.

Change Direction has launched a worldwide global event that has been translated into 11 different languages. The purpose if this event is to know and recognize the “5 signs” to watch out for can make a big difference between life and death. Many Americans already know the signs of a stroke or a heart attack, but do they know how to tell if someone is under emotional distress and needs help?

1. Personality change
2. Agitation
3. Withdrawn
4. Poor self care
5. Hopelessness

A Week to Change Direction is a virtual, global event where we are asking you to flood social media by sharing how you are taking care of your emotional well-being by creating and maintaining Healthy Habits. Share what you are doing for yourself and for your loved ones, coworkers, neighbors and communities to protect and encourage everyone’s emotional wellness during this terrible worldwide pandemic.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be a virtual event, and you can participate from the safety of your own home. It will take place during one week of Mental Health Awareness Month, May 18th-24th.

Alan Mednick is a Certified Board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Awareness. Mednick’s mission to bring mental health to the forefront began in 2012 after he lost his daughter Raven to suicide. Not long after, his niece Ayla also died by suicide. Then in 2013, his 11-year old son Michael began showing signs of anxiety, depression and later expressed suicidal thoughts. That’s when he decided he wanted to make a difference.

Mednick co-hosts a podcast entitled, RealConvo with Alan Mednick and Miranda Khan.

Find out more about Change Direction at www.changedirection.org/a-week-to-change-direction/ or in the case of emergency you can Text SIGNS to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling.

The campaign to Change Direction is an initiative led by Give an Hour.