Suicide Prevention Month

SPM

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention and awareness about this often stigmatized, and taboo, topic. This month spread hope and vital information - The goal is to ensure that individuals, friends, families and colleagues have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and seek help. The National Institute of Mental Health has outlined these five steps you can take to help someone in need.  

  1. ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts. In fact, it shows that you care; Lean into courage and ask this important question when needed.
  2. KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, ask if the at-risk person has a plan and remove or disable the lethal means. You can make a difference.
  3. BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests that acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce suicidal thoughts.
  4. HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the 988 and 800-273-8255 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline numbers (call or text 988) and the Crisis Text Line number (741741) in your phone so they’re there if you need them. You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
  5. STAY CONNECTED: Stay in touch after a crisis or after the individual is discharged from care. This can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.

Resources: 

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