Suicide Prevention Week – Awareness and Prevention

The week of Sept 10th is National Suicide Prevention Day, and the week of Sept 10th is suicide prevention week which is dedicated to helping spread awareness and resources to the broader community. Suicide rates have been slowly climbing in recent years and is overall the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. The shame and stigma surrounding mental health issues and suicide can often dissuade someone from talking to medical professionals, friends, or family. Therefore, it is very important for us as a community to create a safe space for our loved ones so that people can find the confidence to get the help that they need. Often, those who are exhibiting suicidal thoughts or tendencies might also be struggling with a mental health disorder and the sooner that they receive treatment for an associated mental health disorder, the sooner that they will be able to feel better and recover.

Recognize the Signs of Suicide:
Being able to recognize the signs of suicide or suicidality that could be exhibited has the potential to save lives. People can exhibit a wide  array of symptoms like expressing a will to die, killing themselves, or death frequently, feeling empty/hopeless/guilty, talking about or creating a plan, drug or alcohol use, withdrawing from close friends or family, giving away valued possessions, saying goodbye, writing a will, or acting anxious or agitated. These are just a few symptoms, but any extreme changes in behavior or thoughts should be taken seriously.

How to Talk to someone you are worried about:
How do you approach someone when you are worried about them? This can be a tricky for people who do not know how to approach the situation or are scared that they might say something wrong. The best you can do is reassure the person that you are there to support them and care for them and express your concern. Ask them directly how you might be able to support them or if they want to talk about something that might be bothering them; try to be sympathetic, listen, and impart hope.

How to Get Help:
If you suspect that someone might be considering suicide, it is important to get them help as soon as possible. Try to give them all the resources that are available by sending them the numbers of local crisis centers or the national suicide prevention hotline. Offer to accompany them to go seek help from a medical professional or counselor. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911, so that they can receive treatment and help as soon as possible.

Contribute to Suicide Prevention Efforts
There are many ways that anyone can contribute to the suicide prevention effort. There are many local and nationwide crisis centers and help lines that are available 24/7. Volunteering or donating towards these sources would help them allocate more resources to people in need.

If you are struggling with mental health, suicide or depression, or you know someone who might be struggling, please feel free to contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections for help! Getting yourself help, whether it is through self-help or by reaching out to professionals
is an important part of recognizing that you are struggling; it is also a good step forward in getting the help you need. You can visit Lifelineconnections.org or call 360.397.8246 for more information.

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