• Susie Henderson

SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH!

Updated: Sep 13


We at Amitie’ recognize National Suicide Prevention Month as a time to promote awareness, begin dialogue, initiate change, and increase advocacy about suicide. Although Amitie’ works to educate and prevent suicide year-round, September is a particularly critical month as millions of students return to school. The past two years have been particularly challenging for the mental and emotional well-being of our children and teens.


Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people, aged 10-24 and the tenth leading cause of death overall in the U.S. Just as it “takes a village” to raise a child, the same motto applies for suicide prevention. Suicide is pervasive in every age and gender demographic, in every racial population, and at every socioeconomic level. We must all be suicide prevention advocates.


Here are some strategies which everyone can utilize in their communities to reduce not only suicide rates but the stigma behind mental illness.


1) Educate yourself…on the numerous resources about effective suicide prevention strategies. There is content online, in libraries, and at your community mental health facilities.

2) Engage…with people who have lived experience with suicidal ideation.

3) Create safe and effective messaging on….Social Media outlets, community support groups, and in your day to day communications with those at risk, particularly children, teens, and college students.

4) Inform the media on…the fact that they can play a positive role in suicide prevention by offering community resources in their stories.

5) Join…any number of local organizations and help educate the public on suicide awareness.

6) Empower…others by offering assistance, building their resilience, and letting those at risk know you are there for them, particularly with the gift of listening.

7) Encourage…and promote help-seeking resources, including the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which provides free, confidential, 24/7 support by phone, text, or online chat.

8) Volunteer and Be and advocate…in community outreach, suicide prevention walks, and other events that reduce stigma and get people talking about suicide prevention and intervention strategies. Call your legislators and encourage better laws and more funding that help improve mental health outcomes.

9) Explore…ways to reach vulnerable populations such as teens, veterans, the elderly, and the isolated.

10) Understand and promote…the 5 simple steps that save can lives. They are:


a) Ask (are you ok?)

b) Keep them safe

c) Be there

d) Help them connect

e) Follow up


Research shows that 93% of Americans think suicide can be prevented. We at Amitie’ believe that suicide is 100% preventable. Remember that there is always hope. #BeHereTomorrow.


References:

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)






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