Suicide is a difficult topic to address, but it is a necessary one. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, marked by World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th and National Suicide Prevention Week from the 10th to the 16th. It's a time when mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members join together to encourage and promote suicide prevention and awareness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and every year, more than 47,000 people die by suicide. These individuals are not just statistics, they are loved ones who are missed every day. It's time we take action and work together to prevent suicide during suicide prevention awareness month, and every month. Our actions, no matter how big or small, can provide hope to those who are struggling and feel alone.
The First Step Toward Prevention
Identifying the signs of suicide is the first step towards prevention. Some of the most common signs to look out for include talking about suicide or dying, giving away prized possessions, withdrawing from friends and family, experiencing extreme mood swings, and exhibiting reckless behavior. If you notice any of these signs in someone you know, it's vital that you take immediate action to help them.
One of the main ways to help prevent suicide is to talk about it. It's important to break the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide and to encourage open conversations about these issues. If you know a person experiencing suicidal thoughts, let them know that you care about them and that you are there to support them. It's also important to listen without judgment and to seek professional help if necessary.
Another powerful tool in preventing suicide is education. National suicide prevention awareness workshops and training programs are available to help individuals recognize the signs of suicide and learn how to help those in need. A number of organizations and mental health professionals offer various resources online, from articles to self-help quizzes, to help individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Supporting mental health and wellness is also an essential aspect of suicide prevention. Mental health is as important as physical health and should be treated with the same care and attention. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, it's essential to seek professional help in the way of mental health services. Crisis resources are available for individuals who cannot afford mental health care, including hotlines, support groups, online counseling, and more.
Know the Signs
Suicide is a concerning issue that can happen to anyone. It affects individuals of different ages, genders, and social statuses. Sadly, we seem to be losing more individuals to suicide every year. It is therefore important that everyone knows the warning signs of suicide so that they can recognize when someone might need help. Here, will go into depth about the warning signs of suicide, and what actions you can take if you or someone you know is displaying them.
People who are thinking of committing suicide may become socially withdrawn and stop engaging in activities they once enjoyed. If someone you know suddenly stops attending events or gatherings, you may want to check in on them. A simple conversation may be all that's needed to gauge if they need support.
Sudden and Dramatic Mood Swings
Sudden and extreme mood swings can often be a warning sign of suicide. Look for signs of hopelessness, anxiety, agitation, or rage. If someone you know has experienced a traumatic life event and is showing any of these signs, it could be a red flag that they are contemplating suicide.
Giving Away Possessions
Someone who is contemplating suicide may start giving away their possessions to others. This may indicate that they feel a sense of closure or that they don't want their belongings to go to waste. While giving objects away does not necessarily mean a person intends to hurt themselves, it is always wise to check in and ask how they are doing.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Individuals who are struggling with addiction or substance abuse might be at a higher risk of suicide. Alcohol and substance abuse can depress mood and amplify feelings of hopelessness and despair. If someone you know is abusing substances, it’s important to approach them with empathy and offer support.
Talking about Death
This warning sign might be trickier to recognize. However, if your loved ones start talking about death, dying or suicide, take note. They might make seemingly harmless jokes about wanting to disappear or ask dark questions about what happens when people die. Ensure that they know you are there for them and direct them towards professional help.
Recognizing the warning signs is the first step in preventing suicide. We all have the power to make a difference in someone's life by being vigilant and offering support. Remember that no one should face their challenges alone.
How to Talk to Someone You Think is Considering Suicide
Suicide is a serious issue that we should all take seriously. If you suspect someone might be considering suicide, it's important to talk to them in a way that's supportive and non-judgmental. It's essential to come from a place of empathy, understanding, and kindness.
Take the Initiative to Talk
If you suspect someone is suicidal, the first thing you should do is talk to them about it. It's essential to approach them with a supportive, non-judgmental attitude. Remember, the person may want to talk about their feelings but might not know how to bring it up themselves. Talking to someone directly allows them to know you care about them and are there for them.
When someone is sharing their thoughts and feelings about suicide, it's essential to listen without judgment. It is essential to set aside personal beliefs regarding suicide and try to understand how the person is feeling. You can ask open-ended questions or prompt them to share more about their experience. This approach can help them feel heard and understood. You can often offer hope and support in situations of crisis, which can make all the difference.
Empathy is critical when discussing suicide with someone. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand why they may be feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or in despair. Allow them to show their emotions and validate those emotions even if you do not fully understand. When someone is considering suicide, they may feel like no one else can understand their pain. Demonstrating that you care goes a long way to help them feel comforted and supported.
Seek Professional Help
It is essential to be aware that discussing suicide can be a very difficult experience, and it may take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. If you think someone is at risk of suicide, encourage them to seek professional help. There are several resources available to them, such as hotlines, therapists, and support groups that can provide appropriate interventions to save the person's life.
Follow-up and Support
After initiating the conversation, following up on the person in a supportive way can be an excellent way to show you care. It lets them know that you are someone they can turn to in the future if they ever need support. Checking in or following up periodically can be helpful and demonstrate that you are there for them if they need a support network.
Talking to someone you think may be considering suicide can be challenging, but it's essential to approach the conversation in a non-judgmental, supportive way. Essential techniques that can be used in these conversations are to take the initiative to talk, listen non-judgmentally, empathize with the person, seek professional help, and follow-up and support. Remember, suicide prevention is a team effort, and we can all help save lives one conversation at a time.
How to Help Someone Who's Considering Suicide: Classes and Workshops That Can Make a Difference
If you know someone who's considering suicide, it's important to know that there's help available. Suicide prevention is a community effort, and taking classes or workshops can help you learn how to support someone in crisis. Whether you're a mental health professional or simply someone who wants to help a loved one, there are classes and workshops available that can help you learn how to prevent suicide.
Mental Health First Aid:
One of the most comprehensive and widely recognized classes on suicide prevention is Mental Health First Aid. This class provides training on how to recognize the signs of mental illness and how to intervene in a crisis. Participants will learn how to provide support for someone who's considering suicide and how to connect them with professional help.
Another popular class for suicide prevention is QPR Training. QPR stands for "Question, Persuade, Refer" and is designed to teach participants how to ask someone if they're considering suicide, how to persuade them to seek help, and how to refer them to appropriate resources. This class is often offered by community organizations and mental health professionals.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is an intensive two-day workshop designed for trained crisis counselor who work with people at risk of suicide. Participants will learn how to assess suicide risk, intervene in a crisis, and develop a safety plan for someone in crisis. This workshop is a great option for mental health professionals, first responders, and educators.
SafeTalk is a three-hour class that's designed to provide suicide prevention training for people who may not have a professional background in mental health. Participants will learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and how to provide support for someone in crisis. This class is often offered by non-profit organizations and community groups.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a variety of classes and programs on mental illness and suicide prevention. These classes include Family-to-Family, a program for family members of people who are ill, and Peer-to-Peer, a program for people with mental illness. These classes provide education and support for people for both groups of people.
In addition, throughout suicide prevention awareness month, NAMI will highlight the “Together for Mental Health,” campaign which encourages people to bring their voices together to raise awareness of the need for better mental health care, including an effective crisis response system.
If you know someone who's considering suicide, it's important to remember that there's help available. Taking a class or workshop can provide valuable training on how to support someone in crisis and prevent suicide. Whether you're a mental health pro or simply someone who wants to help a loved one, it's worth considering taking one of these classes and workshops. Remember, suicide prevention is an ongoing community effort, not something to do just during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and it's important to educate ourselves on how to support those who are struggling. Let's work together to prevent suicide and support each other.
H2O Wireless is honored to provide you with this information. We hope you never have to use it but, if you or someone you know is in a mental health crisis, please:
Call 911 for emergency services.
Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The crisis lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Support is also available via live chat. Para ayuda en español, llame al 988.
Additionally, if you have a family member or friend who is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help immediately from an emergency room, physician, or mental health professional. Even if you do not believe your family member or friend will actually attempt suicide, the person is clearly in distress and can benefit from your help in receiving mental health treatment.