September is suicide prevention month
Written by Lily Roberts on October 8, 2023
By Lily Roberts / Staff Writer
Last month was September, and it is recognized as Suicide Prevention Month, a time when individuals, organizations, and communities come together to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention. This annual observance serves as a reminder that suicide is a public health crisis that can affect anyone, and that together, we can make a difference in saving lives.
At Kansas Wesleyan, there are many support systems in place for students to turn to in times of need. The DVAC office, which is located on the lower level first floor of the Pioneer Hall Building is a great resource.
The Global Issue of Suicide: Suicide is a global issue that affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 800,000 people die by suicide each year, making it the leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
Addressing Mental Health Stigma: One of the key objectives of Suicide Prevention Month is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage open and honest conversations about this important topic. Many individuals who struggle with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues often suffer in silence due to fear of judgment or discrimination. By promoting understanding and compassion, we can create an environment where people feel comfortable seeking help.
Supporting Suicide Prevention Efforts: Communities across the country are taking action to support suicide prevention efforts. This includes organizing events, fundraisers, and educational programs aimed at increasing awareness and providing resources for those in need. Mental health organizations, government agencies, schools, and healthcare providers are working together to develop comprehensive strategies to prevent suicide.
Warning Signs and Risk Factors: Recognizing the warning signs of suicide and understanding the risk factors is crucial for early intervention. Some common signs include changes in behavior, talking about wanting to die, withdrawal from friends and family, and giving away possessions. Risk factors can include a history of mental health issues, substance abuse, access to lethal means, and a history of previous suicide attempts.
How to Get Involved: During Suicide Prevention Month, individuals can get involved in various ways: Educate yourself and learn about the signs of suicide, risk factors, and how to support someone in crisis, promote awareness by sharing information on social media, attend local events, and wear a suicide prevention ribbon or awareness ribbon in September, and many other ways.
The Importance of Year-Round Efforts: While Suicide Prevention Month is a crucial time for raising awareness, it’s important to remember that suicide prevention is a year-round effort. Mental health and suicide prevention should be prioritized every day, and support should be available to those who need it, no matter the time of year.
By coming together as a community and addressing the issue of suicide openly and compassionately, we can make significant strides in preventing this tragedy and offering hope to those who are struggling. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out to a mental health professional or contact a crisis hotline immediately. You are not alone, and help is available.