Every year thousands of people die by suicide. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time in which survivors, allies, mental health professionals, and organizations band together to bring attention to the topic of suicide, as it is often stigmitized. Raising awareness, by starting a conversation and exchanging resources, is an important step in combating this national issue.
September 6 – 13, 2020 is Suicide Prevention Week.
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline proposes this 2020’s campaign focus:
#BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH? The Action Alliance and its partners are working together to amplify national campaigns to focus on the important role Americans have in “being there” for others. Check out these campaigns to learn how to contribute to this national effort to “Be There” for others.
• #BeThe1To – The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s campaign empowers individuals with tools to start a conversation with someone they are concerned about.
• #RealConvo – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s campaign encourages individuals to have real conversations about mental health with the people in their lives.
• #Take5 – The National Council for Suicide Prevention’s campaign empowers individuals to learn the five action steps everyone can take to save a life.
Every individual can make an impact by being there for someone who might be struggling or is in crisis. Some examples of showing someone how to #BeThere include:
• Check in with a friend by phone or text message to see how they are doing.
• Invite a friend to meet for a physically-distanced coffee or meal together.
• Send a handwritten card to let someone know you are thinking of them.
• Learn the risk factors and warning signs.
• Help connect someone who is struggling to professional care.
• Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number (800-273-8255), which provides 24/7, free, and confidential support. For specialized care, military veterans may press '1.'
Together, we are changing the conversation about suicide by countering myths and fear with information and action steps everyone can take. We all have a role to play in suicide prevention, not only during the month of September but all year long. To learn more, visit the Action Alliance's #BeThere page.