Perhaps it was your sibling, best friend, cousin, aunt or uncle, child, parent, niece, or nephew; No matter who it was, we have all been touched by suicide. For those who are not aware, the month of September is Suicide Awareness Month. This month is a time to raise awareness of this stigmatized topic. We use this month to change people’s perceptions, spread hope and share essential information with people affected by suicide. The goal is to ensure that individuals, friends, and families can access the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and seek help.
In some areas with specific Crisis Interventionist Teams, you call 911 and ask to speak to a trained team member. This trained member has been debriefed on how to best de-escalate the situation without adding to the problem. This is also a great time for local communities to assess their mental health escalation process. Research your community to see if this is something you already have. If it is not, you can visit CIT International’s Website along with National Alliance on Mental Illness’s (NAMI) CIT resources.
Sadly, suicide is not as uncommon as one may think. The twelfth leading cause of death in the U.S. is suicide. It is the second leading cause of death among people between ages 10–14 and the third leading cause of death among people between ages 15-24 in the U.S. So please, this September, don’t just nod your head at the cause but take action against this awful epidemic. Everyone must play a part in this to work. It cannot be an isolated turn of events. However, it must be a group effort to show that we are all still connected by our humanity. You should care about others not just because you have to but because it is the right thing to do. Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you if it were you?
Suicide is not inevitable. We do our part when we begin the conversation, give support, and direct help to those who need it. Research suggests that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are ways we can help. Crisis Centers provide counseling to everyone. They offer irreplaceable support and a chance to connect with trusted and trained professionals.
If you have suicidal thoughts, please know you’re not alone; some people understand. You can and will get better. If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts, please contact one of the helplines below IMMEDIATELY to get the help you deserve. There is another option when it comes to suicide: life. Choose life because it does get better and there is so much awaiting you, don’t miss it❣️