Suicidal thoughts and other mental health conditions affect people across the globe regardless of age, gender, race, or background. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 and the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. While suicide is an important topic to discuss year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month gives us a unique opportunity to discuss the prevalence of suicide in our world and what we can do to aid in suicide prevention.
How can you help during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and beyond? We’ve outlined simple steps to take to help those who need it.
The first step to suicide prevention is learning about the signs and effects that come with it. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center offers essential information on suicide prevention and has a brief video of the Effective Suicide Prevention Model.
Many people suffering from suicidal thoughts do so in silence. Getting involved with your friends, family, and community could be the step someone needs to save their life. There are quite a few events to participate in on National Suicide Awareness Day, both in your community and online.
Show Your Support
Lifeline’s #BeThe1To movement helps spread actions that we can all take part in.
Some of the best ways to show support:
- Asking others about their struggles in a caring way.
- Being there for those who feel depressed.
- Keeping them safe by removing possible lethal weapons, drugs, etc.
- Helping them stay connected and creating a network of resources for them.
- Following up with them
- Continuously learning
These simple steps could make a life-or-death difference for someone you care about.
Share Resource and Promote Awareness
Sharing resources, websites, phone numbers, and more can also make a difference. Whether it’s to talk, listen, or learn, there are many resources available for those experiencing suicidal thoughts.
If you know someone struggling with suicidal thoughts or severe depression, encourage them to find the support they need. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at
1-800-273-8255; make sure those who need it have this number handy. If they are uncomfortable calling, they can also text NAMI or TALK to 714714. Sharing these resources and numbers can help save a life, whether you realize it or not.
Follow the Take Five to Save Lives Action Plan
The National Council for Suicide Awareness (NCSA) created a five-minute action plan to help prevent suicide – Take Five to Save Lives. In five simple minutes, you can learn the signs, know how to help, practice self-care, reach out, and spread the word. These steps are easy for everyone to follow and can genuinely change lives.
Raising awareness and shifting the perceptions of suicide is something everyone can help with. If you know someone struggling with suicidal thoughts, these resources could help save their life. Please pass this along to anyone you know who needs it. Even if you don’t personally know someone struggling, sharing this information could save someone who is hiding their symptoms. Always be kind to one another and offer help whenever you can. Together, we can make this world a better and happier place.