Dear Friends,

In response to the cold, isolating winters in the northeast, Mrs. Lilly Stevens a librarian from the state of Maine holds a “Mental Health and Wellness” Workshop each January. This year she and her student volunteers put together a resource guide incorporating parts of my blog:

She contacted me to say that one of her student volunteers, Kelly, found a compilation of Suicide Prevention Resources and that Kelly thought it would be a wonderful addition to my suicide blogs. I agree and I will be adding it to parts one and two of my blog “Death by Suicide” as well as providing the resource list here below.

Thank you Mrs. Stevens for your efforts and thank you Kelly for your great work and thoughtful suggestion.

A Collection of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources

It’s estimated that suicide claims around a million lives each year. In 2020, rates of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and deaths by suicide rose by about 20%. It’s abundantly clear that suicide is a serious and growing problem. Those considering suicide often feel lost and hopeless. Most don’t want to die; they just want the emotional pain they are in to end. It’s important that sufferers realize what’s happening and feel that it’s safe to seek help. However, it’s also important that other people know what suicidal ideation looks like and are ready to step in if one of their friends or family members starts displaying concerning symptoms.

Noticing the Signs

Most of those who attempt suicide display warning signs. It’s important that people know these signs so they can recognize them in their family, coworkers, or friends; typically, those experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideation respond better to family or friends reaching out. One common sign is talking about suicide or suddenly acquiring the means to end their lives. Someone suddenly showing an interest in knives, for example, could be a cause for concern, especially if that same person brings up feelings of hopelessness or despair.

Precautions You Can Take

Quick intervention is vital when it’s suspected that someone is experiencing suicidal ideation. Talk to the person openly. It’s often difficult but having someone care and show empathy is incredibly helpful to someone feeling lost. It might be just the emotional safety valve the person needs to work through their feelings. It’s also important to reach out for professional help if needed. Don’t be confrontational or argumentative with anyone suspected of considering suicide. Also, remove the means of suicide from the person’s immediate environment.

What to Do After an Attempt

It’s important that people who have survived an attempt get the help they need to make sure that another attempt doesn’t happen. One helpful action is to make a safety plan. The safety plan should spell out exactly when the person should seek help and have phone numbers for personal support and professional care. People recovering from an attempt also need a strong support system around them. It’s also important that they restart their daily activities as soon as possible. This is often difficult, but it’s a necessary step.

Additional Mental Health Resources

(The above list is a courtesy of Ballston Dental Arts, Arlington, VA. This site may contain links to third party content, which we do not assume liability for.)

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