Anyone Can Make a Difference This Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Content warning: Mentions of suicide and mental health

Over 700,000 people die by suicide each year—that’s one person who dies every 40 seconds. After suicide rates declined in the United States in 2019 and 2020, the rate increased 5% in 2021 and continues to climb. These statistics are daunting, highlighting the enormous challenge our country faces. However, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month was established to inspire action and quell these rising numbers. Throughout the month of September, advocates around the globe rally the public to create awareness of this leading cause of death and inspire more people to learn how they can play a role in their communities to help save lives throughout the year.

Spectrum Science’s Corporate Social Responsibility committee put together the below list of quick and easy actions anyone can take to prevent suicide and save lives:

  1. Use your voice as an advocate for suicide prevention to contact your legislators at the federal, state and local level. By joining forces with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and its nationwide network of volunteers, you can help advocate for accessible and affordable mental health care for all, nationwide system change, support for diverse, underserved and disproportionately impacted communities, better data collection and more. It just takes a few clicks.
  2. Initiate open and honest conversations about mental health with your loved ones. Asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicide or suicidal thoughts. In fact, studies suggest the opposite. Acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation. You don’t need special training to understand where someone is with their mental health or to help them get the support they need. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline’s #BeThe1To campaign provides 5 easy steps you can take to communicate with someone who may be suicidal.
  3. Share resources. Coping with suicide loss can be overwhelming, but there are tools available that can help you and your loved ones manage your grief and get connected to the survivor loss community. The suicide Prevention Resource Center created a comprehensive list of organizations and resources that can be used for yourself or shared with other survivors who are seeking assistance.
  4. Post to your social networks. No matter your following, you can help raise awareness and join the conversation about suicide prevention by sharing messages of hope, key research findings and graphics to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. With just one click, you can copy and paste messages AFSP created.

As someone who is passionate about raising awareness and educating communities about mental health and suicide prevention, I am proud to work for an organization that is dedicated to addressing this public health crisis.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 confidential support.

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