September brings National Suicide Prevention Week, a date to remind us about the importance of suicide prevention in the US.
Suicide is a leading cause of death in America, especially since the pandemic. In fact, according to Mental Health America:
- More than 25,000 people report having suicidal or self-harm thoughts on more than half the days of the week
- More than a quarter million people screened positive for depression and anxiety since the start of the pandemic
So, how can the National Suicide Prevention Week help? I’ll show you why it is important, how to participate, and what to do if you or someone experiences suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide.
What is National Suicide Prevention Week? Why is it important?
In 2022, National Suicide Prevention Week goes from September 4th to September 10th.
The aim of this annual campaign is to inform people about the multiple resources available to help prevent suicide and engage health professionals and the general public in suicide prevention.
Reducing the stigma surrounding the topic is also an essential goal of the campaign, as it can encourage people to pursue mental health assistance if warning signs arise.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention´s Out of the Darkness Walk
Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) organizes the Out of the Darkness Walk, a walk to raise public awareness and funds to support suicide prevention. The goals for the walk include:
- education programs in local schools and workplaces
- support for those who have lost loved ones
- advocacy for mental health and suicide prevention legislation
- scientific research to help save more lives
AFSP also offers special events to share personal stories on their website. There you will find shareable social graphics and other educational materials to use during the week.
How to take part in National Prevention Week?
AFSP´s Out of the Darkness Walks have expanded and now you can find walks all over the country. These include:
- Community Walks: Friends, family, and supporters walk for suicide prevention in more than 400 communities.
- Campus Walks: 5k walks at colleges and high schools engage young adults in AFSP’s mission and programs.
- Overnight Walks: This endurance walk from dusk to dawn rotates cities each year.
Find a walk near you and spread out the message that suicide is preventable and that you are not alone.
Suicide prevention or attempt: How to get help?
What to do if you or someone else have suicidal thoughts
If you or someone near you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, reach out to any of the following:
- Lifeline.org: Call or text 988, or chat online.
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741to connect with an MHA crisis counselor for free 24/7 support.
- NAMI Helpline: Text helpline to 61640 to find help and support from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
What to do if someone attempts suicide
If someone attempts suicide, you can either:
- Call 911: Explain what happened with the individual and wait for an ambulance.
- Go to the nearest emergency room: If you can get to an emergency room faster than an ambulance.
Suicide can be prevented. Raising awareness about its warning signs and available resources is vital for us to make an impact.
At TruNovus we believe patient care should be the first priority. As Operational Partners, we manage the operations of mental health facilities so they can focus on what really matters: their patients. And we are proud to say our partners do a great deal to help people struggling with anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
On National Suicide Prevention Week, we want to help spread an important message: “you are not alone in this”.