September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a month meant to end the stigma on mental illness. For some, this month is used to remember loved ones they have lost to suicide and honor those who have survived. This month can be extremely difficult for many people – here’s what you can do to help:
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About It
Whether you or a loved one is struggling with mental illness, it is important to create a safe environment for open discussion. Ending the stigma on mental illness allows for more resources for people to get the help they need before acting on any dangerous thoughts. Reaching out for help or allowing someone in need to come to you is the best thing you can do in troubling times. Do not be afraid to tell someone you trust that you need help.
It is important that people know what resources are available to them in their time of need. Using social media to spread awareness and share helpful information can reach a much larger audience than you might expect. Many people that are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts can find valuable resources through the internet to get them the help they need. Posting about awareness or reaching out to those you think may need help can provide a sense of comfort to those who are struggling and need someone to talk to.
Make Sure Your Friends Are Okay
Checking up on your friends and family is extremely important. Asking them about their wellbeing and what they are going through gives them a constant reminder that people do care about them. Making sure people in your life know that they are cared for can make a much bigger impact than you might think. No matter if you think someone is going through something or not, making sure they are actually doing okay can be very helpful. It is also important to follow up on conversations you have with your friends and family to make sure they are getting through their struggles.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, visit https://afsp.org/suicide-prevention-resources or call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255