Suicide is a health crisis and one of the leading causes of preventable death in our nation. National Suicide Prevention Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness and advocate for suicide prevention while educating on the risk factors and warning signs.
Now more than ever, mental health issues have increased with the fear and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many developed new stressors and were removed of the resources they traditionally used to cope. Suicide is preventable and we all have a part to play.
There are many coping strategies such as exercise or relaxation techniques that a mental expert like a psychologist or social worker can recommend.
Whether you have struggled with suicide yourself or have lost a loved one, know you are not alone. The key to prevention is recognizing the warning signs:
Talking about wanting to die
Talking about being a burden to others
Looking for a way to kill oneself
Talking about having no reason to live
Giving away prized possessions
Sleeping too little or too much
Withdrawing or feeling isolated
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
Showing rage or seeking revenge
Displaying extreme mood swings
Exhibiting daring or risk-taking behaviors
Showing a lack of interest in future plans
Don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it or approach someone who is struggling.
Ask - Don’t hesitate to ask someone if they are having suicidal thoughts.
Listen- The easiest way to show you care is by engaging in a conversation and being a friend.
Stay - Stay with them until they are in a safe place with another caring person.
Secure- Remove any objects you believe could cause self-harm.
Call- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and follow their guidance. If danger for self-harm seems immediate, call 911. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.