September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Combating the stigma of mental illness and suicide
Just about every single one of us has been touched by suicide. If we haven’t lost someone close to us, we know someone who has. It’s a tricky issue, tied up with issues of mental health, and the one thing we really all have in common is we wish we never had to talk about it.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which gives us an excellent opening to talk about this important subject with the people we love.
We know from experts that one of the ways to help someone who is considering ending their life is to ask them what they’re thinking and what plans they’ve made. It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, this conversation does NOT encourage the person to follow through; it merely assures them that their pain is being taken seriously and is important enough to talk about.
On average, there are 132 suicides every day in this country. Think about that number. Think about the number of people you know.
What can you do? The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has loads of information about suicide prevention. Take a look, share the information that is meaningful to you, be willing to let the people in your life help you if you need it.
Here's an easy place to start:
- 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.