Some of you might know the importance this month brings to people who struggle or have struggled with mental health and suicidal thoughts around the world. September is Suicide Prevention Month. Although, suicide prevention should be an everyday thing, this month brings awareness to a struggle that has become way more common than it should be.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for people of all ages in the United States, and the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10-19 in the United States. 120 Americans die each day from suicide. For the next 30 days people around the world have begun to bring more attention to suicide and how to prevent it. But although this is a great way to spread awareness, suicide is definitely something that needs to be talked more about, because the reality is suicide, happens every day.
If you know of someone who struggles with suicidal thoughts, here are some ways you can help them and or get them help. To start suicide prevention is more than just a hotline. But, if someone is in grave danger of hurting themselves, give them the suicide prevention hotline number, (800-273-8255), or call 911 in the case of an emergency. If you have a friend or family member who has fallen into that dark place, reach out to them. Reassure them that you love them, even in their darkest times. Remind them that they are not a burden, tell them you’re there for them, that they have nothing to be ashamed of, and they’re strong. Tell them their struggle is caused by their depression and there will be better days. Instead of just asking “How are you?”, ask them to hang out, talk to them about things they like, acknowledge their strength. And always keep in mind, you can’t easily pull someone out of a depression that deep easily. It takes time, be patient.
If you feel yourself falling into a depressive state, do some things that make you happy. Take your dog on a walk, take a shower, eat something, you don’t have to do it all at once, but make sure you are slowly going back to taking care of yourself. And remember how strong you are for battling a war in your mind 24/7.
If you need to contact a counselor at MacArthur, visit neisd.net/mac and go to contact a counselor on the right side of the website.
Make sure you spread awareness about this very real topic, just by letting someone know you care you could be saving their life. And, if you’re feeling suicidal, remember no matter how bad things are, it will get better. And there is so much more to live for. Having suicidal thoughts is nothing to be ashamed of, so reach out for help when you need it.