Not everyone may know, and it is not a cheery topic to talk about but September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. Yes, it is not as popular as National Cheeseburger Day or National Dog Day but just as, if not more important. The topic of suicide is one many people believe is taboo. We think that by not speaking about it, it simply does not happen. This is false.
By speaking and learning about what suicide is and how to prevent it we can pass on tools to help prevent unwanted suicides. Here are some q and a's to help you spread awareness and share the message that everyone's life does matter:
What is suicide? It is when someone feels as if they have reached their limit. They are past the point of return and want to give up on life. They may feel as if no one cares or pays them any attention.
What can I do if a friend or family member talks about suicide? Listen. Be understanding and empathetic. Do not try to minimize their emotions or thoughts. Talk about what they think they may gain from suicide. Talk about what they will lose with suicide. Talk about the love and joy they do bring to the world. Make sure you do make them aware that their is help and things can get better.
What if they have a suicide plan? A suicide plan and intent to act is very dangerous. This is a direct threat and should be treated as such. Do not hesitate to take your loved one to an emergency room or call 911.
What if talking does not help? Talk about gaining a second opinion and seeking professional help. If the person is not willing to gain help, you also have the option of taking them to the nearest emergency room or calling 911.
Can therapy help someone who is suicidal? Yes! The therapy has to be intensive and positive. It can work over time but the difficulty with suicide is that it is an immediate danger. The sooner it is addressed, the better.
Now that you can help your loved ones, please share this with others. Spread awareness about suicide prevention by simply, talking about it. Do not be shy, talk about how you feel and what you know. Starting a conversation can help slowly reduce suicide and improve mental health for everyone.