Suicide Prevention: Not only in September, but an Everyday Effort

Every September is dedicated to the awareness of suicide prevention, but for many one month isn’t enough. Help, guidance and support are needed throughout the year, and there are individuals who work hard to provide that help and support all year long. So, with Suicide Prevention Month coming to an end, it is important to remember that prevention doesn’t just end with a pretty pamphlet, an observation or an awareness month. For many, it is an everyday, ongoing effort. Everyday is an opportunity to help make a difference; for someone else, or even for ourselves. 

Many of us may know someone who has lost their battle to suicide, and it is an emotional, heavy and painful reality, but we have the ability to turn those heartbreaking realities into a real and honest dialogue. We have the ability to transform the memories of those we’ve lost into motivation and purpose, to help others who are suffering or may be at risk. 

If we see the warning signs, we need to act and provide help or ask for help. Whether it is for someone we love, or ourselves; don’t be afraid to ask for help. Suicide is a complex health issue, and not every cause is the same because no two people are the same, so we must also be understanding and supportive. Checking on the ones around you can make a difference. In addition, checking in on yourself and your mental health is vital. These actions or practices should happen all year long. 

There are also many opportunities out in our communities that help aid in suicide prevention. Some include becoming a suicide field prevention advocate, taking courses on how to be valuable suicide prevention allies, donating to prevention organizations, and even simply sharing your story. Whether you’re someone who has experienced a suicide loss, survived an attempt, has suicidal thoughts, or just wants to make a change, sharing a story is powerful. There is no shame in sharing stories. Sometimes it is a testament that healing is very possible and very real, and there is always hope.

We are never too busy to make a difference or help save a life. Simply being there, reaching out or getting involved can aid in suicide prevention. All year long we must support and be there for one another. Everyday counts.