How You Can Make a Difference in Suicide Prevention

September is suicide prevention month, and while this month is specifically dedicated to raising awareness about suicide prevention, it is important to stress that it is *always* okay to reach out, and it's *always* okay to ask for help. Life can be really stressful, but know that there is somebody out there who cares about you and your wellbeing.

So how can you make a difference in suicide prevention? If you notice someone in emotional pain, you can take these five action steps laid out by the National Institute of Mental Health:

  1. 1. Ask

    If you have noticed warning signs in someone, such as them withdrawing from friends, taking dangerous risks, and expressing unbearable emotional or physical pain, ask them how they are feeling, and if they feel that they are at risk of harming themselves, thinking about, or planning suicide.

  2. 2. Keep Them Safe

    If you can, reduce access to lethal items or places.

  3. 3. Be There

    Listen carefully and acknowledge their feelings. Showing concern can be an immediate way to help someone, and listening won’t increase the risk of suicide and it may save a life. Talk with them and reassure them that they are not alone, letting them know you care.

  4. 4. Help Them Connect

    Help them access immediate help by connecting them with a crisis line, counsellor, and/or trusted person. See numbers you can call or text below!

  5. 5. Stay Connected 

    Follow up and stay in touch after a crisis.

Asking for help can be the scariest thing ever, but know that there is no problem or issue to small to reach out for help. It’s an incredibly brave thing to open up to another person and not an easy thing to do, but it is so, so important. You matter. You are worth it. You are important.

 

To anybody who might need this, there are a ton of options and resources that are available 24/7; here are just a few:

  • Emergency Medical Services: 911
  • Good2Talk: 1-866-925-5454
  • Here 24/7: 1-844-437-3247
  • Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or by text - 45645
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • The TrevorLifeline: 1-866-488-7386 (additional crisis intervention and suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ+ youth available on their website too: thetrevorproject.org)
  • UWaterloo Counselling Services: https://uwaterloo.ca/campus-wellness/counselling-services

Lots of love, Warriors <3