September is National Suicide Prevention Month

Actions you can take to help someone who may need it

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  We’d like to make people aware that suicide is preventable by taking the following actions recommended by Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you are concerned that someone is considering suicide:

■ Ask. Research shows acknowledging and talking about suicide with people who are considering it actually helps reduce the threat of suicide and suicidal ideation. Ask how they feel, if they are considering self-harm or suicide.

■ Be there. People are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, and more hopeful when they know someone is there to listen without passing judgment.

■ Keep them safe. Studies have shown that when access to lethal means is removed, suicide rates by that method, and overall, decline.

■ Help them stay connected. Helping someone at risk to develop a network of resources and caring people can help reduce feelings of hopelessness.

■ Follow up. Brief, low-cost and ongoing, supportive intervention is an important part of suicide prevention, especially after someone is discharged from a hospital or care service.

As a nonprofit community behavioral health center, we provide adults, children and families with access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Our vision is to eliminate the stigma surrounding these illnesses, so that everyone who needs treatment will ask for it when they need it most. To the extent you can participate in a conversation with someone who is feeling down, depressed or hopeless, you will be part of the solution this month, and every month.

The Lakes Region Mental Health Center’s 24/7 emergency crisis line is available and free at 603-528-0305. Our clinicians are compassionate people with experience handling many types of crisis situations.

You can “#BeThe1To” take any of the above suggested actions. In so doing, you’ll be part of the solution we strive to achieve every day.