September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
Mental health is something that is often overlooked by individuals, businesses, and communities of today, yet it is so incredibly important for us all. Even in today’s open society, many of us are scared to voice how we really feel if we are feeling low, stressed, and unable to cope. September is known as National Suicide Prevention Month and is designed to highlight the importance of mental health, encouraging those who are struggling to seek help. Campaigns during this month help to decrease the stigma towards mental illness and suicide, as well as create safe spaces for individuals to share their feelings.
When a suicide-related crisis occurs, friends and family are often caught off-guard. There are a few ways to approach a suicide-crisis:
- Talk openly and honestly
- Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills
- Calmly ask simple and direct questions, like “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?”
- If there are multiple people around, have one person speak at a time
- Express support and concern
- Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
- Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
- If you’re nervous, try not to fidget or pace
- Be patient
Here are a few other warning signs of suicide:
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behavior
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and community
- Dramatic mood swings
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
If yourself or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 911.
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line
Mental health is important to live a healthy and happy life. Be sure to support yourself and those around you in achieving this.