Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Every year, 1 in 5 Americans will suffer with a mental illness. As September is Suicide Awareness Month, I believe that it is important that we discuss the signs that we can notice that a loved one/friend is or is becoming suicidal:

#1. The person withdraws:

When someone is suicidal, they have the tendency to withdraw. This is due to the fact that they may not want to be around others or simply that they do not have the energy to be around other people.

 

#2. Sleep problems:

The person may have trouble sleeping. This can happen in two ways: they can either sleep too little or sleep too much. Your loved one may feel tired all the time and may spend all their time in bed.

 

#3. Changes in personal appearance:

When someone is depressed, one of the first things to go is personal hygiene. Be vigilant to notice signs that a person is no longer showering, brushing their teeth, etc.

 

Now here’s a list of things that YOU can do to help your loved one through this difficult time:

#1. Be there for them and just listen to what they have to say

I can’t stress how important this is! Sometimes what they need is to know that you care. Listen but you don’t necessarily have to give advice. Just let them know that they can talk to you about anything.

 

#2. Ask them if they are going to therapy/taking medication

If your loved one is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, it is IMPERATIVE that they follow their treatment plan. The plan is in place in order to help them. It’s okay to ask them if they are taking their medication as prescribed, but do not make them feel bad if they aren’t.

#3. Encourage them to contact their psychiatrist/therapist

It’s so important that you or the loved one get in contact with their mental health professionals. These thoughts are dangerous and are to be taken seriously. Even though it is scary to disclose that your loved one is having these thoughts, their doctor and therapist only care about what is best for your loved one.

 

We have lost too many people to suicide. Now is the time to start speaking up about these thoughts. If you are currently dealing with thoughts of suicide, I’d highly encourage you to reach out to someone, whether that be your family, close friends, a pastor, or even to your mental health professionals, so that you can get the help you need. And remember, you’re not alone. Your life is so valuable, and we need you here with us!

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255