Suicide Prevention Month, How Can I Help?
We don’t often talk about it until it’s too late. Suicide doesn’t only impact family and close friends, but everyone within that person’s sphere of influence and those within their family’s and friends’ spheres of influence. Death by suicide has a ripple effect that can impact an entire community.
When you consider that in 2021, in the U.S. alone, nearly 3 million adults made suicide plans, that 1.7 million people attempted suicide and 48,183 people died by suicide, you begin to understand how pervasive its impact can be. It’s likely that in your lifetime, you’ll meet or know someone who is considering suicide, or you may have considered it yourself.
While September is National Suicide Prevention Month, it’s important to be aware of suicide’s realities every month of the year and know what you can do to help.
How Can I Help?
Because suicide can often be prevented, awareness is the first step. Warning signs can include depression, change in personality, instances of self-harm, long-term pain, substance use issues, withdrawing from others, recent life crisis and conversation about wanting to die.
If you notice these signs in anyone you come across, take them seriously, listen without judging and encourage them to reach out for professional help. Due to societal expectations, people may be ashamed to ask for help. This makes it all the more important to really listen after you ask, “How are you today?” or “Are you OK?”
If the person you’re speaking with seems extremely distressed and you believe it’s a life-threatening moment, remain calm and reach out for help by calling 911 or taking the person to an emergency room. If that person is you, call 988 to find immediate support and know that you are not alone.
The best time to reach out is now. You can find nonjudgmental support from the providers at Oneida Behavioral Health. Our Safe Care Pathway can help through the most turbulent times. You can also join our weekly Wellness Support Group which takes place Monday through Friday from 1:00 until 2:30 at 2640 West Point Road. Learn more at (920) 490-3790. We’re here to listen and support you on your path to wellbeing. We can give you the tools you need to build a more balanced and harmonious life.
If you or a friend are in distress, dial 988 or start a chat at 988lifeline.org for 24/7 support.