September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Learn how you can help someone you care about during a crisis or suicide attempt. You could save someone’s life.
You Play a Role in Suicide Prevention
Suicide can be difficult to talk about. Sometimes we feel ill-equipped or scared to say the wrong thing. It’s okay to be nervous or unsure, but we need to have these conversations. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages – we all have a part of play in prevention.
At Foundation 2 Crisis Services, we focus on mental health and suicide prevention daily. But during September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we invite you to consider how you can reach out for support or be a voice for someone you care about who may be struggling. We are here, 24/7, to provide the support you need.
It is important to understand the realities of suicide. More than 44,000 Americans die by suicide each year. Middle-aged white males are most at risk; suicide rates among males are four times higher than among females, although females are more likely to have had suicidal thoughts. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are three times more like than straight youth to attempt suicide during their lifetime. (Source)
We all play a part in suicide prevention. Ignoring concerns doesn’t make the risk of suicide disappear. While each situation is different, it’s important to be aware of warning signs that someone may be considering suicide.
Warning signs include:
- Depression or related symptoms including sleeplessness, loss of appetite, hopelessness, isolation, anger, etc.
- Recent loss of a friend or family member, especially through suicide
- Use or increased use of drugs and/or alcohol
If you feel someone may be thinking about suicide, or have difficulty with mental health, talk to them. Talking about suicide doesn’t “give someone the idea” to self-harm. Trust your suspicions and take all threats of suicide seriously.
How to help:
- Let them know what they mean to you and that they are not alone.
- Help them recall how he or she coped in other crises.
- Gently ask direct questions about the person’s intentions.
Do not minimize or ignore statements about wanting to die. Do not swear to keep it a secret and don’t use cliches like “everything will be alright,” or “pull yourself together.” If you feel that the person is in immediate danger, do not leave them alone and call a crisis hotline, such as the Foundation 2 Crisis Center at 319-362-2174, or 911.
During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and every day, we encourage you to take an active role in suicide prevention. Talk to your loved ones. Be a voice for employees, coworkers, friends, family members, neighbors and others who may need support. We thank you for being a partner to help those in your community access the mental health care and support they need. Together, we can be a trusted support when life gets tough. All people. Every time. Any time.
Teen Suicide Prevention
DOWN (Suicide Prevention Film)
This short film contains depictions of thoughts of suicide. Viewer discretion is advised.
Take These Active Steps This Month
- Put our crisis line number (319-362-2174) in your phone. You never know when you might suddenly need it.
- Visit our website or Facebook page to learn more about suicide prevention, available services, and how you can get involved.
- Help reduce stigma. Share posts about mental health or suicide on social media, talk to friends and family members, or dispel misconceptions. Many people avoid seeking support due to the perceived stigma – you can be a part of fixing that.