September is Suicide awareness month

This year life link is sponsoring #Bethe1to to spread awareness about suicide and suicide prevention. Be the one to has six recommended action items. 

  1. Ask 
    1. Studies show that asking someone if they are suicidal/ having thoughts of suicide provides some emotional/psychological relief for the person who is suffering. Be gentle, be kind, but be direct. It used to be thought that this would make the suicidal ideation worse, but this has been debunked. 
  2. Be There 
    1. I know times are hard with the pandemic but be there for each other. It could be anything from texts, phone calls, zoom meetings, ect. People are less overwhelmed by their suicidal thoughts when they can talk to someone without judgment. 
  3. Keep Them Safe 
    1. Research shows that when lethal means of suicide are un-available or less available, suicide rates decline. This could as simple as taking away the item(s) with which the person plans to use to commit suicide. 
  4. Help them Stay Connected 
    1. This one is like be there, research shows people with more social supports can feel less hopeless and more likely to battle the underlying cause of their suicidal ideation. 
  5. Follow Up 
    1. This one is more for professionals, but you can help too. Studies show that those who receive post-acute treatment follow up are less likely to complete a suicide attempt. For those in a person’s support network you can help by asking if they have followed up with a doctor, advanced practice provider, therapist, or other professional for support. 
  6. Learn More 
    1. There are tons of resources out there to learn more about suicide and suicide prevention. 

I recommend NAMI, Lifeline, Crisis Text line, and Mental Health First Aid to name a few. If you have recommended resources leave a comment below! 

Life link campaign resources- https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/promote-national-suicide-prevention-month/

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