Each year, tens of thousands of people in the US die from suicide, and more than a million Americans attempt suicide. Suicide deeply impacts a person’s entire social circle, too, and each death from suicide leaves a family devastated.
National Suicide Prevention Week and World Suicide Prevention Day occur each September. The events provide a time for people to raise awareness of the problem of suicide in their communities. Importantly, it is also a time to look towards the future and take action to help prevent suicide.
In this article, we share ways that a person can participate in National Suicide Prevention Week and play an active role in helping prevent suicide. We also detail common warning signs that may indicate a person is at risk of suicide. Lastly, we share details on available mental health treatment programs that can help an at-risk individual improve their well-being.
Participating in National Suicide Prevention Week while social distancing
National Suicide Prevention Week is not only for mental health professionals and organizations. Anyone can participate in National Suicide Prevention Week, and their efforts can have a significant impact on their community. Also, it is possible to participate in National Suicide Prevention Week 2020 while keeping safe and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
One way to participate while socially distancing is by taking part in a National Suicide Prevention Week social media campaign. Several mental health advocacy organizations, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provide ready-to-go social media graphics for suicide prevention. People can participate in the campaign by sharing those graphics with their friends and followers. Sharing suicide prevention content helps raise awareness of suicide-related topics, and it also can provide direct support to at-risk individuals. When an at-risk individual sees the social media graphics online, the content can remind the person that help is available.
Suicide warning signs & engaging with at-risk friends and family
Another way to participate in National Suicide Prevention Week is by engaging with friends and family who may be at risk. By starting a conversation with people who may be at risk, you can allow them to open up about any issues they may be facing and offer guidance.
Knowing common warning signs that a person may be at risk of suicide can help you identify who needs help. These common warning signs of suicide risk include:
- The person starts engaging in risky behavior and exhibits a disregard for their life. This behavior can include reckless driving, substance abuse, and unsafe sex. The person may seem impulsive, and this behavioral change may come as a surprise to people in the person’s life.
- The person exhibits increased irritability, mood swings, or sudden changes in eating and sleeping habits. That behavior may indicate that the person is dealing with depression or other mental health issues that can lead to suicide.
- The person appears to focus on death. They may continually bring up death in conversation, make jokes about death, or make comments that they would rather be dead. People should take those actions seriously and consider them to be a call for help.
If a person displays warning signs of being at risk of suicide, it is possible to help. A useful blueprint for helping an at-risk individual is the #BeThe1To campaign’s five steps. The five steps are: (1) ask, (2) be there, (3) keep them safe, (4) help them connect, and (5) follow up. We encourage you to learn more about the #BeThe1To campaign’s five steps. There are several details that people should know about, including never promising to keep a person’s thoughts of suicide a secret.
How Las Encinas Hospital can help prevent suicide
Mental health conditions can contribute to instances of suicide. When a person does not receive treatment for a mental health condition, the person’s condition can become unmanageable. At that stage, the person may wrongly consider suicide to be the only way to deal with their situation.
At Las Encinas Hospital, we provide mental health treatment programs that can help at-risk individuals regain control of their well-being and maintain hope for the future. We offer a variety of behavioral health services for adults, including specialized treatment programs for chemical dependency. For adults who do not require around-the-clock care, we offer partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs. We also provide intensive outpatient programs for adolescents.
Getting started at Las Encinas Hospital
To get started with a mental health program at Las Encinas Hospital, reach out to our team at (877) 579-8140. You can reach us 24/7, and we can help answer any questions you may have. We can also schedule you or a loved one for a free mental health assessment to help determine if our behavioral health hospital is right for your situation.
Remember, if you or another person is ever in immediate danger of harming themselves or others, call 911.