Self-Care and Suicide Prevention

No catchy title. Plain and simple - September is National Suicide Prevention Month, with September 10th as Suicide Prevention Day. I understand the subject is taboo to talk about openly, there is still social stigma attached. But the subject is too important not to discuss. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. There is one (1) death every eleven (11) minutes according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from the latest figures they have from 2018. The CDC just published the information in 2020, they also provide a help guide and additional resources.

Self-Care as always means taking care of yourself, the good the bad, and the ugly. I’m not saying it’s bad or ugly to have mental health issues. I’m not even saying it’s a mental health issue to have thoughts of suicide. More than half of the people who die by suicide did not have a known mental health condition according to the National Institute of Mental Health. I’m not a mental health professional. Everyone can have a bad day. Everyone can get down sometimes. I’m sure most of us have wanted to run away from our problems, for a day, a week, or a month, maybe even longer. But deciding not to live anymore, that’s different. Seeking a permanent solution to a temporary problem is never a good answer. Suicide is not the way out.

If you are ever feeling that low, reach out and call the Suicide Prevention Hotline to reach a Trained Crisis Counselor at 1-800-273-8255 they are open 24/7.

Also, here’s the link to the National Institute of Mental Health

I watch a lot of news (side effect of my Bachelor of Journalism Degree). Therefore I see plenty of stories stating that due to the pandemic many people are experiencing mental health issues due to the stress of isolation, job loss, homeschooling their children, or worried about how to homeschool their children while they go to work, death of loved ones, the social and political unrest, and maybe all of the above. Here is an article providing information about how to spot potential issues with loved ones by Seth J. Gillihan, Ph.D. We are all dealing with unprecedented times. Our lives have been turned upside down. Making the time to do things just for yourself is so very important.

One concern people have about seeking help for mental health issues is being labeled “crazy.” It’s unfortunate the term crazy got connected to mental illness, because it denotes brokenness or flaw. It can prevent people from seeking help but there is no shame in having a mental health issue, or a mental health crisis. Reaching out to get help is courageous and important. Seeking help is the first step to healing, to self-care, and self-love. Taking that first step is key on your journey, so take it.

What to expect when you call a crisis hotline is a question some may ask, this article by Elaine K. Howley answers that question.

If you have made the decision to contact a mental health professional, people wonder should I call a psychiatrist, psychologist or a counselor? Which one is better? Since I knew you had that question I included this link for an article by Dylan Buckley Counselor vs. Psychologist: Which Do You Need? so you could have some research while deciding which is best for your situation.

Suicide is preventable if we understand the risks and recognize the signs, in others and especially in ourselves. Get help for yourself and encourage those you love to seek help.