What to Remember During National Suicide Prevention Month

stay alive, we need you here

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or (785) 841-2345.

Suicidal thoughts do not discriminate. They can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Often, suicide is the result of an untreated mental health condition, and every 40 seconds someone in the world takes their own life. Suicide is a national health problem that currently ranks as the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10 – 24. 

The CDC reported that over 40 percent of Americans who responded to a survey done over the summer stated that they are struggling with their mental health or substance abuse, due in part to the reality of living in a world where COVID-19 exists. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing community unrest, and other traumatic events have undoubtedly impacted mental health. In this article, you will find a list of things to remember during National Suicide Prevention Month.

Talk about it.

While it is upsetting to think about suicide statistics, it is important to remember that it is preventable. It’s no secret that there’s a stigma surrounding talk about suicide and mental health, but having open conversations about these topics is a sure-fire way to reduce it. Often, people don’t seek the help they desperately need because they are afraid of what people may think.  

Recognize the warning signs. 

If you or someone you know is showing any of the following warning signs, you should reach out for professional help.

  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain 
  • Talking about being a burden to others 
  • Giving away prized possessions 
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs 
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much 
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated 
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge 
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.  

While there are some warning signs, suicidal behavior can be complex.

Suicidal behavior is not a response to one problem that a person is experiencing. Some risk factors vary with age, gender, or ethnic group and may occur in combination or change over time.

Know the risk factors.

  • depression and other mental disorders, or a substance-abuse disorder (often in combination with other mental disorders). More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have these risk factors.
  • prior suicide attempt
  • family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
  • family history of suicide
  • family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • firearms in the home, the method used in more than half of suicides
  • incarceration
  • exposure to the suicidal behavior of others, such as family members, peers, or media figures.

Take time to learn more about the resources available to you and others. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Where to Get Help – Suicide Prevention

I’m Having Suicidal Thoughts – SAVE

Suicide prevention resources

Top 10 Suicide Prevention Organizations and Resources

There are many gestures big and small that can contribute towards preventing suicide and lowering suicide rates. Here at Ascend NBS, we are dedicated to helping local and national nonprofits meet their mission through grant funding, including those that are geared towards suicide prevention. If you believe your organization could benefit from our assistance, contact us at 210-610-2440 or at info@ascendnbs.com. Visit us at Ascendnbs.com to learn more and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to be informed of our latest blogs.