September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Also known as Suicide Awareness Month, the month shines a spotlight on a topic not often talked about.
Everyone is affected by suicide, not just the victim. Suicide impacts family and friends long after the loss of a loved one. On average, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes. Two-thirds of the people who commit suicide suffer from depression.
“We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI is here to help.” – National Alliance on Mental Illness Website
One way to help prevent suicide is to increase access to treatment for depression. However, identifying depression can be difficult. Not all people who suffer from depression show signs. The first step in identifying someone who is suffering from depression and contemplating suicide is to see how serious the issue is. Talking to the person involved and asking about their thoughts will decrease the trigger of suicidal action. Suggesting a counselor or treatment for depression might also help. Often, people who are depressed need a caring friend. A common fallacy is that people who talk about suicide never act on it. If a friend or loved one is talking about suicide, it’s time to get help for that person.
The mental health of yourself or a loved one can never be taken too seriously. Whether the weight of a long-term struggle or a crisis weighs you down, allow friends, family or a profession to lighten the burden by finding support. There is no shame in seeking help.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSuicidePreventionMonth
Learning about suicide prevention during the month of September is a great way to educate yourself and others. If you or someone you know needs emergency assistance, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Find more help at www.nami.org/Find-Support. Use #NationalSuicidePreventionMonth on social media.