September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources, stories, and reflect upon how we can better support our loved ones. The state of our nation containing a pandemic, racial injustice, unemployment rates, political tension, and so forth has made this time especially rough. Now more than ever, we must check in with friends, family, co-workers, and everyone around us.
As we process our feelings in this difficult time, we are reminded of how important it is to take care of ourselves and others. When thinking of mental health, we must remember what it means to be mentally healthy. Someone who is mentally healthy is simply not an individual lacking a mental health disorder. You can struggle with your mental health and not have a mental health disorder. It is the human condition to go through struggles in your life, and we must normalize reaching out for help at all times without hesitation.
Remember that your friends can be smiling, laughing, seemingly having a good time, yet still struggle with their mental health. This is why it is so important to check on loved ones beyond the times that they are visibly upset or in distress. Struggling with mental health is common, so we should be able to have open conversations about our feelings without the fear of judgement.
There are counselors, therapists, social workers, and people out there to support you. It is all about taking that first step in getting the help that you need. If vocalizing the need for help is hard, you can always write down your thoughts and share them that way. In this generation with the technology that we have, you can even get help through self-care apps like Headspace or apps that allow you to receive therapy. Please take advantage of these resources, reach out for help when you need it, check up on others, and be an advocate for mental health!
If you or anyone you know may need someone to speak to:
National Suicide Prevention Line
Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741
The Trevor Project
or by texting “START” to 678-678
NJ Warmline (Created to give people support when you just need someone to talk to. This is a free, confidential, and anonymous line.)
NJ Hope Line