September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day
Today we are reminded that we all have a role to play in suicide prevention. #BeThe1To make a difference; stepping forward and reaching out can help save lives.
If you think someone might be considering suicide, there are 5 steps that you can take:
1. Ask – If you think someone might be considering suicide, take the first step and ask directly, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
2. Keep them safe – If you ask someone if they are thinking about suicide and they say yes, the second step is to keep them safe. Separate them from anything they are thinking of using to hurt themselves.
3. Be there – Listen without judgement. Let the person talk without interruption and make them feel heard. Respond with kindness and care. Always take the person seriously.
4. Help them connect to resources – Remember that help is available, and recovery is possible. Help them build a support system, including 800-273-TALK (8255), family, friends, clergy, coaches, co-workers or therapists.
5. Follow up – Don’t forget to take the last step and follow up with them. Supporting their transition from crisis to recovery can make all the difference.
What can you do?
- Check-in with friends by phone or text message to see how they are doing. Learn the risk factors and warning signs.
- Invite your friend to meet for coffee or to share a meal together. Practice self-care by incorporating emotional hygiene, social connection, physical wellness, and stress reduction into your life.
- Send a handwritten card to let someone know you are thinking of them. Spread the word about the importance of suicide prevention.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) and online chat provides 24/7, free, and confidential support.
Together, we are changing the conversation about suicide by countering myths and fears with information and action steps everyone can take. We all have a role to play in suicide prevention, not only during the month of September but all year long.