If you found this article while you were actively seeking help because you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or call 911.
The month of September is dedicated to instilling hope, encouraging open dialog, and preventing suicide. While the Center for Disease Control lists suicide as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, suicide is preventable – and education and understanding is the key to prevention. Educating individuals about mental health, warning signs, risk factors, and how to seek help when they are struggling is one way to help prevent suicide.
Mental Health Education is Suicide Prevention
By having a personal understanding of your thought patterns, and why you feel various emotions, including the awareness of risk factors that may trigger suicidal thoughts or depressive episodes, you are actively taking control of your mental health. This becomes possible through education and mental therapy services.
Recognizing risk factors for suicide is key, for both the individual who is at risk, and their friends and family members. It is important to be aware of risk factors, because while they are not a direct cause of suicide, they can heighten the risk. Common risk factors include traumatic experiences, the death of a loved one, mental health issues, and bullying. For a full list go to https://moretomorrowsne.org/risk-factors/.
Warning signs are behaviors and actions that people are able to observe in at risk individuals. If your loved one experiences a change in typical behavior, it may be time to reach out to a professional experienced in mental health treatments in Burnsville.
A few warning signs to watch for include engaging in the excessive use of drugs or alcohol, withdrawing from loved ones, talking about being a burden, or giving away prized possessions. For a full list of possible warning signs, as well as other pertinent tips, visit Warning Signs of Suicide – SAVE.
What to Do When You Notice Worrisome Behavior
If you are concerned about someone you care about, it is important to plan ahead in case you need help. When a crisis occurs, it is best to have available resources lined up ahead of time. When you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, it is vital to check in with your friend or loved one and get them the help they need. By knowing what resources are readily available, you will be prepared to offer assistance if you need to have this conversation.
Contrary to popular belief, asking about suicidal feelings will NOT put the idea attempting suicide in someone’s head. Rather, it offers an opportunity for a conversation where the individual can talk about their feelings – which often reduces the risk of acting on them.
When beginning a conversation such as this, make sure you approach the subject without judgement, remain sensitive, and ask direct questions. Having this conversation puts the power to save lives in your hands – and it does not have to be scary.
Resources and Reasoning
There are many local and national resources available for anyone in this type of situation. For anyone wanting to speak with a trained counselor, cal the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255. Services are also available through text at the Crisis Text Line – 741.741. For a full list of valuable local and national resources see https://www.thekimfoundation.org/local-national-resources/.
If you are looking for a provider of adult mental health service in Burnsville, reach out to Options Family and Behavior Services. You will find a vast array of treatment and therapy options available, including substance abuse treatment, as well as a compassionate, professional staff trained in all aspects of behavioral health.
Everyone has the power to save lives and prevent suicide, and every life is valuable and has purpose. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the two most important days in a person’s life are the day they are born and the day they discover why they were born. Cling to the fact that you have an important reason for being here – even if you haven’t discovered it yet.
Let’s work together to bring healing, hope, and lots more tomorrows to our families, friends, and communities during the month of September and every month.