September is Suicide Prevention Month
This blog post comes to you at a time when there has been so much going on in our lives. Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 U.S. Elections, so many people now unemployed or on furlough, and yet bills are still piling up, the kids are going back to school, and life continues on. The majority of people are now experiencing heightened depression, stress, anxiety, etc. due to everything currently going on.
World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th and National Suicide Prevention Week September 6-12, 2020.
These events provide us all with opportunities to encourage those that are struggling with suicidal behavior to seek help, to assist family members, friends, and helping professionals in supporting individuals who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and to increase the number of people who are actively engaged in suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
September is an important month for suicide prevention.
These ambitions require more than just us shouting out from the rooftops or designating a day, week, or month to focus attention on suicide prevention.
It requires an conversations that are both informed and serious.
Conversations about suicide have focused on hopelessness, despair, and inevitability, if they have even taken place at all.
However, through practice and research, we’ve seen that suicide is preventable.
We know that those that are at risk for suicide can overcome the risk and live fulfilling, healthy, and productive lives.
September provides us with an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to changing the conversation about suicide from one of despair and inevitability to one of hope, health and resilience. We can frame our messages to encourage hope.
We can remind people at risk that there is hope, we can remind friends and families that there is help, and we can remind clinicians and other care providers that they can help.
A few years ago there was a campaign created to help reduce the number of suicides in our communities.
The campaign is called #BeThe1To, and the 5 steps are:
- Be There
- Keep Them Safe
- Help Them Connect
- Follow Up
You can read more into detail about each of these steps on the #BeThe1To website.
If we can all make a goal to show up for our friends, family, neighbors, and communities, we can reduce suicide together.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors there is 24/7, free and confidential support available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or an online chat is also available.