September is Suicide Prevention Month. It is an important time to raise awareness for suicide prevention and to learn the risks and warnings of suicide.
It is important to break the stigma of suicide and learn how to talk about it. Mental health is a key component of our health, and it is not adequately reflected in school curriculums. Information about mental health is often not readily available, accurate, comprehensive, or destigmatized. Thus, those who are struggling often do not reach out. They do not know what exactly is going on. They do not know that they can be helped nor who can help them. Some may have been taught to see mental health as a weakness or a shameful topic to speak about.
Warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person needs help as soon as possible or may be in acute danger. Individuals who are in pain may talk about feeling hopeless, talk about having no purpose in life, look for ways to kill oneself, and talk about being a burden to others. Indiviudals may display extreme mood swings, increase the usage of alcohol and drugs, show rage, and seek revenge.
Reach out to someone you know today and spread some love. Ask them how they are. Let them know you are available to chat. Share with them something that made you think of them. Send them your favorite picture together. Invite them out for coffee or go on a walk. Send a funny meme. Express appreciation and gratitude that you have them in your life. Even a simple text message could make a huge difference in someone's mental state.
Together with universal effort, we can work towards a world without suicide. All lives matter. Let's create hope through action.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7/365 at (800) 273-8255. To reach a Crisis Counselor, text COALITION to 741741. Online chat is www.IMALIVE.org. The Trevor Project operates a national 24-hour toll-free confidential suicide prevention service for all LGBTQ individuals (866) 488-7386.