September is suicide prevention awareness month. This is a time to raise awareness of this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. Suicidal thoughts, like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Often, suicide is the result of an untreated mental health issue. It is important to remember that when someone expresses suicidal ideation, it should be taken seriously, and help should be sought.
When a suicide-related crisis occurs, friends and family are often caught off guard, unprepared, and unsure what to do. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) outlined some guidelines to keep in mind when supporting someone through a crisis.
Knowing risk factors and warning signs can further assist you in finding help for yourself, a loved one or a friend, but can also help prevent a suicide-related crisis. NAMI identified warning signs to look out for when assessing yourself or someone else you may be concerned for.
Throughout the month of September, it is important to raise awareness to help shift public perception, spread hope, and share vital information to people affected by suicide.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.