I’m sure many of you have seen or heard that this week – 9th to the 5th – is National Suicide Prevention Week (NSPW). I wanted to add my own thoughts/information to this because it’s something that is very important to me. I know people in my life that have took their own life by suicide and I hear daily about people who want to follow through with suicide, working in the field that I do. It’s not something to take lightly and statistics are only increasing. The point of NSPW is to educate professionals and the community about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide. September as a whole is Suicide Prevention Month. What are you going to do to contribute or advocate? It’s important to be a part of this movement to continue to spread awareness and bring everyone to the realization that suicide does happen and that it is 100% preventable. Nobody should have to feel that they have no one to turn to, no future, no hope, no support, or no reason to live to the point of wanting to end their life. Yes, these feelings are generally ‘normal’ from time to time, but the point of contemplating suicide is much too far.
What can you do to help?
- Understand the warning signs
- Increased risk taking behaviors
- Increased drug/alcohol abuse
- Unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
- Increased agitation/irritability
- Dramatic mood changes
- Loss of interest in previously desired activities
- Lack of socialization
- Giving away belongings
- Talking about death nonchalantly
- Be a listening ear and a helping hand
- Be aware of available crisis options (write these down in case you or a friend need it!)
- Crisis Hotline = 800.273.TALK
- Crisis Textline = 741-741
- Sexual Assault hotline = 877.995.5247
- Substance abuse hotline = 855.458.6606
- Trans Lifeline = 877-565-8860
- If someone tells you they are feeling suicidal, do not minimize their feelings, blame them, or threaten to ‘tell on them.’ Be understanding – they are reaching out because they need and want help!
- Share on social media about NSPW and how others can get involved.
- By showing your friends and family how you are supporting the movement, they are more likely to join as well! Social media is a great way to spread news and information fast!
- Let the people you love know that you are supporting this cause – they are probably going to feel more comfortable confiding in you if they need to.
- Talk about mental health openly and positively to lift the stigma.
- On average, 123 people commit suicide per day.
- Each year 44,965 Americans are taken by suicide.
- In 2016, firearms account for 51% of suicides.
- For every suicide there are 25 attempts.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
Take a stand today and do something to make a difference! Whether it be making a social media post, talking to a friend, wearing clothing that advocates for mental health, or simply by smiling at strangers more. Imagine if we all worked together to make each other feel more safe…