September 10 is marked as World Suicide Prevention Day by the International Association of Suicide Prevention, but their mission doesn’t end when the day is over. Suicide prevention is a daily mission for thousands of people every day: mental health professionals, educators researchers, people struggling with suicidal thoughts, their friends, and their family. You can recognize this important day by helping spread awareness of suicide prevention efforts all year long.
Fight the Stigma of Suicide
There is still a stigma surrounding suicide and talking about mental health in our society. Millions of people every year are affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviors, but they might encounter negative responses when they try to share what they are going through. Make it a goal this year to fight back against the stigma. Talk with your friends and family about mental health and the importance of seeking help. Respond when you hear someone say something incorrect about suicide and correct misinformation about mental illness. In order to do this, you’ll need to educate yourself.
Learn About Suicide and Its Warning Signs
People of all backgrounds can experience suicidal thoughts. These thoughts can be caused by mental illness and/or life upheaval. They seem overwhelming for those struggling with them. It doesn’t mean they are “good” or “bad” people or that they have failed in some way. There are many signs that a friend or loved one is considering ending their lives. The organization, Take 5 to Save Lives has assembled a list of warning signs that you can learn. Sometimes, people try to hide the warning signs from us, so it’s important to talk with your friends about how they are doing and remind them you are there to listen.
Seek Help from Experts
When you know someone in your life is having suicidal thoughts, don’t go it alone as you try to help them. This year’s World Suicide Prevention Day theme is, “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” The organization chose this to highlight how important it is to work as a team to help people choose to stay alive. They need and deserve to have a network of support around them that can help keep them safe. Encourage your loved one to find these individuals, and seek out support for yourself, too.
If you’d like to participate in World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 directly, take some time to review the resources below. There are several events happening virtually from groups all over the globe. There is even a bike ride you can participate in your own neighborhood that raises awareness for the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s cause of eliminating suicide loss forever. Together, we can help save lives.