Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for all Americans to learn about mental health and protect their mental well-being. This year, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Month is “Suicide Prevention.” It’s important to remember that suicide is preventable, and there are many things we can do to help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. In this blog post, we’ll discuss suicide prevention and share some resources for getting help if you or someone you know is in danger of harming themselves. We hope you’ll join us in raising awareness during Mental health Awareness Month!
When Is Mental Health Awareness Month?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but you can get involved all year round! Mental Health Awareness Month is for everyone! Everyone experiences mental illness differently, so it’s essential to take care of ourselves and get involved to support each other. For example, here are some ways you can get involved:
You don’t have to be an expert to get involved. Everyone has a role in Mental Health Awareness Month!
Who Is Affected by Suicide?
For every one person who completes suicide, there are between 100 to 200 attempts. It’s important to remember that many people who have suicidal thoughts do not want to die but are struggling with the pain in their lives.
What Are Some Warning Signs of Suicide?
Some warning signs of suicide may include:
Talking about wanting to die
Feeling hopeless or trapped Wanting to kill themselves, feeling like there’s no other way out of a situation Feeling unbearable pain or being in excruciating pain Talking about feeling hopeless Talking about feeling trapped Talking about feeling like a burden to others.
Talking about feeling ashamed of what they’ve done or who they are
Saying things like, “it’d be better if I weren’t here,” Or “I want out.”
Withdrawing from friends and family
Isolating themselves Losing interest in things they used to care about Feeling the need to be “perfect” Suppressing their feelings Expressing unusually intense anger or rage
Showing significant changes in mood, personality, or appearance Putting themselves down in extreme ways
Getting their affairs in order Giving away essential belongings
Do People Who Attempt Suicide or Self-Harm Want Attention?
No. People who attempt suicide or engage in self-harm do not want attention despite popular belief. They may be hoping someone notices and gets them help, but they would never hurt themselves on purpose as a way of getting attention.
What Can We Do to Prevent Suicide?
There are many things we can do to help prevent suicide. One of the most important things we can listen to people in pain and let them know that it’s okay to seek help. We can also remind them that suicide is not their fault. Other things we can do include:
Talking openly about suicide
Being there for people
Supporting people who suffer from mental health conditions
Helping them find treatment
Make sure people at risk of suicide know how to get help by providing treatment resources.
We are keeping medications out of the reach of others, especially children. About 60% of suicides in teens are related to depression and prescription medications.
How Do I Know If Someone is Suicidal?
It can be challenging to know if someone is suicidal. Although people who are suicidal may give off warning signs, they usually do not wish to end their own life. Instead, they are struggling and in pain and are hoping someone will recognize how they feel to get help. If someone you know is showing any warning signs listed above, talk to them about it and let them know you’re concerned. Some people may be reluctant to speak, but it’s important not to worry about saying wrong. Let them know you want to help and ask if they think about hurting themselves or ending their lives. If they say yes, do not leave them alone.
Ask if they have a plan, and if so, try to get more information about the procedure. Sometimes, having more information can help. For example, if someone plans to shoot themselves, you know they won’t die right away, and there is more time to help them. If possible, ask the person directly if they feel suicidal, and let them know you care. “Are you thinking about suicide?” “Have you lost hope?” If someone is suicidal, they may be relieved that you asked and trusted them enough.
However, if they say no and you’re still concerned, you can also try asking: “Are there times when things feel so bad that you wish you would go to sleep and never wake up?” “Are there times when things feel so bad that you wish you could just disappear for a while?” “Do you ever feel so badly that it seems like the only way out would be to die?”
If they say yes to any of these questions, you should ask them if they plan to act on those feelings. If they say yes, you must stay with them and get help. It’s also important to note that if someone has said yes to all of these questions, they are at risk for suicide. If you still think they might hurt themselves, it is crucial to seek help from a professional.
Does Talking About Suicide Increase the Risk?
Talking about suicide does not make it more likely to happen. If the pain becomes too intense, people suffering may feel like they have no other options and their suicidal thoughts become more intense and severe. If we shut down or don’t talk about it, they may feel even more alone and isolated.
Talking openly about suicide and mental illness can also help reduce the stigma around these conditions and encourage people to seek help and treatment before reaching a crisis point.
What if I’m the One With Suicidal Thoughts?
If you are thinking about suicide, it can be hard to know what to do. You might feel alone, but many people want to support you and help you through this tough time. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it’s essential to reach out and talk to someone. A trusted family member or friend is an excellent place to start. You can also call a suicide hotline or go to a crisis center. If you feel like you need immediate help, please seek it by going to your nearest hospital emergency room or calling 911.
Suicidal thoughts are severe and need to be addressed right away. They can be signs of an underlying condition, like depression or bipolar disorder, so talking about your feelings and seeking medical treatment is essential.
Many people who die by suicide do not mean to die; instead, they are trying to end the emotional or physical pain they are experiencing. The leading cause of suicide is treatable mental illness, like depression. If you’re thinking about suicide, please get help. Suicide is preventable, and there are many things we can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
What To Do If You Know Someone With Suicidal Thoughts?
When someone you care about has suicidal thoughts, it can be hard to know what to say. It can be hard to know whether your concern will make them feel worse or push them away, but the most important thing is to be there for them. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers, but it is essential to let the person know that you are there for them and that you care.
If they’re not ready to get help from a medical professional, the most important thing you can do is offer your support and be a good listener. Let them know that you care and want to help, and let them do most of the talking about how they’re feeling.
Someone with suicidal thoughts might say things like, “I wish I were dead,” or “I want to kill myself.” These statements are a warning sign that the person is in an unhealthy mental state. If you hear these things, it means they need to speak to a mental health professional as soon as possible.
Remember, being supportive does not mean that you are responsible for the person’s suicidal feelings or actions. Instead, reassure the person that they are not alone and help them find professional help by giving them information about hotlines or offering to go with them to see a medical professional.
What is the Difference Between Prevention and Intervention?
One of the biggest misconceptions about suicide is that it can lead to suicide or suicidal thoughts. It is important to remember that talking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicidal behavior in any way.
Talking about suicide is essential for prevention because it makes people feel like they are not alone and gives hope to those suffering. If someone you know is thinking about suicide, talking to them will make them feel less alone.
Talking about suicide can also help us intervene before a tragedy occurs. For example, if a friend has suicidal thoughts, talking to them about it might be the first step toward getting help and feeling better.
Don’t forget to get involved! Sign up for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, take our suicide prevention training, share this article on social media sites, and pass the word about Mental Health Awareness Month. You can also view our resource library by visiting https://teens.drugabuse.gov/resource-library.
Never give up on someone you care about who has suicidal thoughts and never assume that someone will “get over it.” Suicide is preventable, and you have the power to help.