September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time for all to come together to address the difficult topic of suicide. Bringing awareness can help to provide resources for those in need and their loved ones, give communities tools and education, continue research and innovations, continuously engage in policy work, and drive thought leadership with passion and intent.
Knowing when extra help is needed
You don’t need to be an expert to recognize when someone needs outside help – if you can tell a friend isn’t doing well, they might need a greater network of support.
Concerned about a friend?
You might not be certain your friend is displaying worrisome signs regarding their mental health. Here are a few signs to look for as a guide:
- Impulsive behaviors or being more irritated than usual
- Not functioning like their usual selves (i.e., change in habits of how they dress, general appearance, eating or sleep habits)
- Talking about feelings of loneliness or despair
- Excessive worry
- Trouble concentrating
- Substance misuse
Find a moment to talk
Beginning the conversation doesn’t mean you have to dive straight into talking about mental health struggles or have an intense heart to heart. Consider instead meeting your friend where they are or extending an invitation to hang out. You can even talk about struggles you are going through to give your friend an avenue to open up. Whether it’s over a bite to eat or taking a walk, a simple “what’s up” is a great place to begin.
Suicide prevention is important every day of the year. National Suicide Prevention Month gives us an opportunity to shine a special, encouraging light on this topic that affects us all, and send a clear, hopeful message that help is available, and suicide can be prevented.
SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Note: Health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before you start or change any regimen including diet, medications or exercises.