Friends, this is National Mental Illness Awareness Week. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is focusing on a handful of mental illnesses during this week, including suicide and depression. Divorce is linked to both depression and suicide in adults. Men are eight times more likely to commit suicide after a divorce. Their chances of suffering from depression double. More than 50% of divorced women have depression even after 10 years of being divorced. Depression is also directly linked to the children of divorce. It is well documented that prolonged conflict between parents greatly increases the odds that a child will struggle with depression and substance abuse as adults.
Divorce is a long-suffering health subject. Rarely does divorce get the attention that it deserves for causing health problems. This is because divorce, which affects all aspects of a person’s life, is handled by isolated specialists. Lawyers handle the divorce process. Therapists and “Divorce Care” programs sponsored by religious and/or community groups step in to address the fallout after the divorce is finalized. Handling the whole problem from the start requires a holistic approach, one that addresses the legal, financial and health aspects of divorce. This is exactly what mediation and collaborative practice are structured to provide.
When health is a focus of the divorce process, a different perspective is at play. This perspective allows people to identify problems sooner and make decisions in proper context. The result is a better adjustment to a post-divorce life.
Here are a few basic tips to help cope with divorce in a healthier way:
If you know someone contemplating a divorce, make sure you keep their health in mind. At Cleland Collaborative Solutions, we provide people a divorce process that can address all of the issues in divorce, so you can move on to a healthier post-divorce life.