September marks the observance of both National Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies and community members unite to promote suicide prevention and recovery awareness.
We can all help prevent suicide and make a difference in the lives of those in or seeking recovery from mental and substance use disorders. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has five ways you can help change the narrative around suicide:
- Ask. Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone checks in on them in a caring way. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.
- Be there. Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.
- Keep them safe. A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline.
- Help them stay connected. Studies indicate that helping someone at risk create a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help that person take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
- Follow up. Studies have also shown that brief, low-cost intervention and supportive ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention, especially for individuals after they have been discharged from hospitals or care services.
By following these guidelines, you can be part of a network working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, and to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope.
September is an important month of reflection and support as we acknowledge both Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Month. Together, let’s continue to raise awareness and remove the stigma around mental health and addiction. To help spread awareness of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline visit 988Indiana.org for a collection of promotional resources.
If you or someone you know is currently experiencing thoughts of suicide, or a mental health or substance use crisis, please call or text 988 to reach Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and speak with a trained crisis specialist 24/7.