September is Suicide Prevention Month
Did you know that September is Suicide Prevention Month? What that is and what that means may be new to you. So, let’s take a moment to talk about it.
What is Suicide Prevention Month?
Suicide Prevention Month, also called National Suicide Awareness Month, is a time to raise awareness to suicide and in turn prevent more suicides.
Because, when it comes down to it, suicide is preventable! But we need to know the warning signs to watch for!
What can I do this month?
Raise your awareness of suicide because everyone is affected by suicide, not just the victim. So let’s see if we can find some things that you didn’t know before about suicide.
On average, one person successfully commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.
Almost two-thirds of people who commit suicide are depressed.
We were once taught that anyone who talks about suicide isn’t going to commit suicide but that has been found to be completely untrue. If someone you know is talking about suicide, it’s time for them to seek help.
There are many risk factors when it comes to suicide, but a few that affect our children and teens are:
- A previous suicide attempt
- Social isolation
- Abuse or neglect
- Family history of suicide
(for more risk factors, please visit Risk and Protective Factors)
One way to prevent suicide is to increase access to treatment for depression. However, not everyone who is depressed shows the same signs.
Another thing you can do this month is talk to your children or teens about coping and problem solving skills. Model these behaviors as well. If you need help learning how to cope yourself, go to Prevention Strategies for ideas.
What do I do if I think someone is suicidal?
The first thing to do is to talk to them. Ask them to talk about how they are feeling about suicide. Show them they are not alone. Often children and teens need a caring friend to help them feel less isolated.
Suggest they see a counselor to help them work through their feelings.
If bullying is the cause of their suicidal thoughts, make sure they know that you are in their corner and keep complaining to those at school until someone helps your child.
Mental health can never be taken too seriously! If you are worried about someone you know, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
You are not alone in this!