Help Prevent Suicide, Remember Those Affected, Promote Mental Health Access, & Support Survivors
World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. It’s a time to remember those affected by suicide, to raise awareness, and to focus efforts on directing treatment to those who need it most. Suicide can affect ANYONE regardless of age, race, sexuality, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.
Loved ones lose 800,000+ around the globe every year to suicide. We need to change the conversation and de-stigmatize the language around suicide in order help people feel comfortable talking about their mental health. Talking about suicide doesn’t cause more suicides to happen, it only prevents them. It's okay to not be okay.
This is how you can learn more about, give to charities doing relevant work, and take action to help prevent suicide and promote mental health access:
LEARN: No issue exists in isolation. There are many factors that contribute to rates of suicide and suicide attempts. So, how do we take an issue that affects so many different groups of people and break it down to learn about the specific causes?
For example, did you know that by limiting gun access, the suicide rate could be reduced by over a third. Learn more by reading a Washington Post article on Reducing Suicide at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/business/wonkblog/suicide-rates/.
Additionally, did you know that before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies did not offer mental health coverage on basic health insurance plans. Learn more about the ACA's impact on mental health access at: https://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/how-obamacare-improved-mental-health-coverage/.
ACT: It's time to #SeizeTheAwkward and talk about mental health. It's 2019, and ain't nobody got time for mental health stigmas. Yes, it can be awkward - but a nonjudgemental conversation has the power to save a life. Talking about mental health, letting them know you're here to listen, and sharing resources with your friends, family, and colleagues is one of the most important things you can do to #preventsuicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is accessibly by calling: 1-800-273-TALK ). They also have resources online at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support to people in crisis. Text 741741 to get connected to a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem solving. Learn more at: https://www.crisistextline.org.
You can help your friend find a therapist that takes their health insurance and fits in their budget at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists. You can also filter specialists by expertise in particular issues and/or therapies.
GIVE: These top-rated organizations are fighting to prevent suicide and promote mental health awareness and access on the national level and with more targeted groups:
National: - Mental Health America is one of the country’s leading community-based organizations dedicated to supporting people with mental illness and promoting mental health nationally. Through political advocacy at the state, local, and federal levels, Mental Health America is helping enact legislation that prioritizes mental health. They also work to support people with mental illness through education and resources programs, like mental health screenings. Donate at: https://www.mhanational.org/donate-mental-health-america. - The Treatment Advocacy Center is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness. This organization helps to promote laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the new innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent mental illness. Donate: https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/make-a-donation. - The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the largest grassroots mental health organizations dedicated to creating better lives for Americans affected by mental illness. It is made up of state organizations, hundreds of local affiliates, and volunteers. They provide education, hold events, provide resources, and work in the community to raise awareness and offer support to all who need. Donate at: donate.nami.org.
Group-Focused: - The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) was established to provide ongoing peer-based emotional support to anyone who is grieving the death of a loved one who served in the Armed Forces. TAPS does not limit support just to Survivors whose loved ones were killed in combat; they support family and friends of Service members who died from suicide as well. There are more than 3,000 suicide Survivors currently connected to TAPS. To ensure support and contact, TAPS will make on average 162 phone calls per day to military survivors and in a single year TAPS has 32 contacts with each Survivor. Donate at: https://www.taps.org/donate.
- The JED Foundation, also known as JED, exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation's teens and young adults. Attempting to equip teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other - JED partners with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and systems. Donate at: donate.jedfoundation.org.
- Trans Lifeline is the only trans-specific suicide prevention line currently operational in the US & Canada. All its volunteers are transgender, and it welcomes calls from people who are in crisis questioning their gender identity - and won't call emergency services without the express consent of the caller. Donate at: https://www.translifeline.org/donate.
- Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national, veteran-founded-and-led 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on military suicide prevention. Stop Soldier Suicide works 1-on-1 with troops, veterans, and military families to help navigate the maze of services, programs and assistance available. Donate at: https://stopsoldiersuicide.org/donate-3/.
- The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. It's also a source of education, putting together modules, and training programs to help people like school counsellors and teachers know the specific suicide risks related to LGBTQ youth, and how to help them. Donate at: http://give.thetrevorproject.org.
Have an idea on how to help with this issue or a different cause? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line that includes your cause and whether your suggestion involves donating (GIVE), taking action (ACT), or bringing more awareness to the cause (LEARN).