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5 Ways to Get Involved During Suicide Prevention Month

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. Unfortunately, suicide is growing more prevalent in our society, so it is essential that we work together to raise awareness about suicide and mental health. 

This year we all have a fantastic opportunity to unite together and raise awareness about suicide and mental health by participating in Suicide Prevention and Awareness month. This is a month-long campaign throughout the entirety of September. During this time, people from all over the country advocate for and raise awareness about suicide prevention. 

Mental health is an increasingly important topic, especially after a challenging last year. Many of us know someone who is impacted by the crippling effects of mental illness, whether it be you, a spouse, significant other, family member, or friend.

Especially through these last 18 months, we have seen an increase in mental health struggles due to COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, people have lost their jobs and felt isolated, which has caused a considerable increase in mental illness. Recovering from post-COVID mental illness is complex, and requires time and attention to treat. 

What is Suicide Prevention Month?

Suicide Prevention Month is a time for Americans to unite together to help break the stigma regarding suicide and mental health. We have the chance to work together and help people become more aware of this issue because of its impact on countless lives throughout America and the world. 

This year, suicide prevention week is September 6-12, and World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. 

How Can I Get Involved In Suicide Prevention Month?

There are many different ways that you can get involved in suicide prevention month. Here are five simple ideas to help you and those around you make a real difference. 

1. Educate Yourself and Others

Learning and growing are a massive part of the world in which we live. Specifically, during this week (and the whole month of September), it is crucial to be aware of suicide and mental health. 

A great way to get involved is to educate yourself and those around you about suicide and mental health. Educate yourself on the signs of suicide, the symptoms of depression, and the adverse effects of mental health illnesses. 

There are hundreds of excellent resources that can help you learn about mental illness and suicide. In so many instances, knowledge is power, and that is the case with mental illness. Being knowledgeable about the signs of suicide can actually save someone’s life. 

Some of the signs of suicide include:

  • Withdrawing from activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Saying Goodbye
  • Giving away possessions
  • Increased anxiety/depression
  • Anger

Everyone is different, and the signs differ, but being knowledgeable and increasing your education around mental health could save a life. 

2. Utilize Social Media

Social media is such a powerful tool because of the vast reach it has. Through social media, we can share messages with people from around the world at any time of the day. 

Using social media to help others educate themselves and raise awareness of suicide prevention is a great way to get involved in suicide prevention and awareness month. 

Getting involved on social media can be as simple as sharing a post from someone else, sharing personal experiences, or just sharing the suicide hotline on your feed. 

There are many hashtags you can use that encourage others to visit suicide prevention and awareness pages. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a hashtag that is #BeThe1To. Even by doing something as simple as using this hashtag, you are making a difference in breaking the stigma around mental health and suicide prevention. 

Other hashtags to increase awareness about mental health include: 

  • #mentalhealthawareness
  • #suicideprevention
  • #together4MH

3. Break the Stigma

The idea of breaking the stigma is such a common phrase, but what does it really mean? How do you help break a stigma? 

A great way to break the stigma around suicide is to talk to others about suicide prevention and awareness. We need to work as a society to make this a topic that we can talk about and normalize, so people feel comfortable opening up about it. 

Breaking the stigma means removing preconceived notions about suicide and people who suffer from depression and mental illness. People who have mental illness are often perceived negatively, when in reality, their strength in dealing with daily struggles could put weightlifters to shame.

Another great way to break the stigma around mental health is to try and help people utilize the correct terminology. It is important to recognize that mental illness is just that; it isn’t a “phase” or something to be ashamed of, it’s a real illness that impacts real lives. 

We can work together to remove the stigma around mental health and create environments where people feel comfortable to open up. 

4. Have Hard Conversations

A simple way to get involved in suicide awareness and prevention month is to have hard conversations with those close to you. It is so important to set time aside to talk to the people you love. This bolsters trust, openness, and a willingness to gain mental strength.

Taking time out of your day to genuinely ask someone how they are doing, how their mental health is, if they have considered suicide, and asking if you can help is so important. Providing these opportunities for others to open up about their mental health can save their life and let them know you care. 

It is also a great way to raise awareness about mental illness because you are talking about it. Providing this safe environment established on trust can help people feel comfortable opening up and receiving the right help. 

These conversations can be awkward and complicated, so knowing the right questions to ask can present this topic in a more empathetic approach. While talking about mental illness, it is important to remember to listen, be respectful, and come from a place of support and love. 

These tough conversations will establish a trusting relationship where mental health is openly discussed, and others can turn to it if they are struggling. 

5. Donate to An Organization

Whether you have $5 or $500 to donate, every little bit counts. Contributing to an organization helps others get the treatment they need. It also helps these important organizations raise awareness about mental illnesses. 

If donating money isn’t possible for you, even donating your time makes a huge difference. Participating in a mental health walk, service event, or offering assistance where you can will help make a difference. Donating time is a great way to contribute to and participate in suicide awareness and prevention month.

National Suicide Lifeline

While participating in this month-long suicide prevention and awareness campaign is awesome, keeping these principles in mind all year will make an even more significant difference. 

If you or someone around you needs help, there is no shame in reaching out. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7, and they are there to help you. 

Encouraging others to reach out and get help can save their life. This lifeline is there to assist you in getting the proper support, answering your questions, and is completely confidential. 

1(800)-273-8255

Suicide awareness and prevention month is exciting and something we can all participate in, no matter your circumstance. We would love to help you overcome your mental illness, don’t hesitate to contact us today with any questions.

These are just five ways, but there are many other ways to get involved and make a difference in the lives of the people around you. How are you going to get involved in suicide prevention and awareness month this year?

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

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If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (951) 331-5607. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.