These past years have brought many vital issues affecting everyone to the forefront. One of these issues is mental health and how much it affects everyone.
People are barraged daily with things that can cause stress, anger, depression, and anxiety. This can include bills, social media posts, news, work, or relationships. As a result, many people feel there is no way to avoid these pressures and resort to self-harm, life-threatening choices, or even suicide.
September is recognized now as Suicide Awareness Month. Suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) website, is the 11th leading cause of death in Missouri. These deaths are tragic but can be prevented if people know the signs and how to help.
Alcohol or drug abuse.
Sudden changes in behavior or unexplained anger.
Overt or subtle threats of suicide.
Giving away prized possessions.
If you notice someone starting to display these signs, do not wait. Talk in private. AFSP mentions,
"Listen to their story, and let them know you care. Ask directly about suicide calmly and without judgment. Show understanding and take their concerns seriously. Let them know their life matters to you. That one conversation could save a life."
It is also encouraged that after listening, help them reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling or texting 988. Additionally, make sure you follow up with that person. Those check-ins also help remind them that people care about them.
On the flip side, If you are struggling with your mental health, Do not wait for someone to reach out.
Seek mental health treatment, or tell your doctor, therapist, teacher, priest, or friend about your suicidal thinking.
Treat yourself like you would treat someone else who needs your help.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or contemplating suicide, remember that you are not alone, and there is help.
Additional resources include:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 988
National Crisis Text Line: Text "MOSAFE" to 741741
National Alliance on Mental Illness Peer Helpline: 1-800-950-6264
Disaster Distress Helpline: Call or Text 1-800-985-5990
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