National Suicide Prevention Month: What You Need To Know
Who is affected?
National Suicide Prevention month is not only a time to share resources, but it’s also a time to learn about the stigma of suicide and how it impacts all of us. In our economic, social, and political climate, the collective mental health of our communities is in poor condition. According to the National Council for Suicide Prevention, over 800,000 people die by suicide every year. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in people aged 10-14 and the 3rd leading cause of health for people aged 15-24. Youth who are in lesbian, gay, or bisexual are 4x more likely to attempt suicide, and transgender people are 9x more likely to attempt suicide at some point in their lifetime. Of those who die by suicide, 46% have a diagnosed mental health condition and 90% have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition. This is truly a serious public health issue, but there are many roles you can play in joining efforts to prevent suicide.
Even though it can be awkward and uncomfortable at times, bringing light to these conversations is one of the most important ways we support our community and loved ones. We can dispel stigma by simply talking about these issues openly and safely.
What are the warning signs?
The National Council for Suicide Prevention lists the following as potential signs of self-harm. Contact a mental health professional or hotline (linked below) if you are someone who know are exhibiting these signs:
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or isolating themselves
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Extreme mood swings
What can you do to help?
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms, there are a number of resources and hotlines you can easily connect with to chat with someone or get the care you need.
Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. Veterans, press 1 when calling.
Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7
Veterans Crisis Line
Send a text to 838255
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Hotline (Substance Abuse)
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
The Trevor Project
The National Council for Suicide Prevention offers a number of self-care suggestions you can regularly keep up with to work on your mental health. These include:
1. Practicing good emotional hygiene
2. Making time for friends and family
3. Making time for yourself
4. Nourishing your body with healthy food
5. Getting enough sleep
6. Moving your body
7. Helping others
8. Managing your stress
9. Managing other medical or physical problems
10. Asking for help
For more detailed information and examples of how to incorporate these practices into your life, visit https://www.take5tosavelives.org/do