People living with mental illness don’t usually seek help for fear of the stigma associated with it. Instead, they suffer in silence. Family, friends, colleagues often see behaviours or signs that reflect something is not quite right.
Recognizing those small changes early and seeking help together can help prevent the severity of mental illness. Some of the warning signs to look for are but not limited to; withdrawal, sleep or appetite changes, mood changes, nervousness, drop in functioning in school, work, extra-curricular activities, feeling disconnected, and illogical thinking.
Experts explain that feeling one or two of these symptoms does not indicate mental health concerns but several of them simultaneously is concern enough to seek the help of a mental health professional.
Dedré Jefferson was a respected member of her community in Houston, Texas.
The 48-year-old was a teacher and had beaten cancer twice.
She was elected to be the vice president of the Alief Independent School District board in Houston.
Everything seemed to be going well for Jefferson.
Except she was growing worried over her son Blake Jefferson.
The 22-year-old had recently graduated from Texas Southern University and had a job
Still, his mother noticed changes in her son’s behaviour.
That Jefferson thought about her son and his well-being was not surprising to her family, friends, and colleagues.
“She was very vibrant, supportive of everyone, energetic, committed,” Jefferson’s sorority sister LaDon Ward, said.
Long time friend Toni Jones said “Everybody loved Dedre, Dedre loved everybody.”
But Jefferson understood that her son’s recent hallucinations were not the norm and wanted to help him.
A man accused of stabbing his mother to death last week sobbed as he made his first appearance in court. Blake Jefferson, 22, is charged with murder in connection with the Friday morning death of his mother, Dedre Jefferson, at her Garden Grove Court home. He stabbed his mother to death while she’s on phone, deputies say. According to investigators, Dedre Jefferson was on the phone with her mother when Blake Jefferson began to stab her. He ran to a nearby home, broke in and tried to hide from police.