September 10, 2021
In the last several years, there has been a greater focus on mental health and raising awareness. During the summer Olympics, athletes related their personal struggles on national television, bringing a new light to the subject. More and more media outlets are starting to raise the topic of mental health in the hopes that talking about it can break the stigma and normalize mental health. During the pandemic we have seen an increased need for mental health services, especially where it pertains to suicide and opioid overdoses.
In 1960, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) was formed in Vienna. It wasn’t until 2001 that Certified Crisis Centers were established nationally through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help individuals who were struggling. In 2003, the first World Suicide Prevention Day was recognized by the World Health Organization and IASP. Suicide prevention day is recognized with the goal of researching and collecting data on suicidal behaviors to better figure out what leads to suicide, why the warning signs are unnoticed by friends and family and what can be done to help prevent suicide. Communities across the country hold events and activities to raise awareness, comfort those who have lost loved ones, and provide resources to individuals who are struggling.
Risk Factors and Warning Signs of Suicide
Knowing factors that might put someone at a higher risk for suicide might just help save someone and get them the help they need. Risk factors indicate that someone is struggling and might consider or attempt suicide. While these factors don’t necessarily indicate if someone will attempt suicide, they are important to know. Warning signs are generally more obvious than risk factors, especially if the behavior is new, increased, or seems to be linked to a loss, event, or major life change.*
What can be done to help prevent suicide?
The good news is that there are resources available to those who are struggling. There is a suicide prevention lifeline where someone in distress can call 24/7 to speak with a professional who can help them through a crisis. Calls are free and confidential. After a crisis, it’s important to get professional help from a local organization. Speak with your regular provider for a referral, or search online to find a behavioral health specialist.
StayWell offers mental health services for those who are struggling. Our compassionate, licensed clinicians work with individuals to reach personal goals, and become their best self again. English and Spanish speaking clinicians are available in multiple locations. To learn more, visit our Adult Behavioral Health page. Services include:
There are many ways that you can get involved in suicide prevention. Donate to your local mental health organizations or to world wide foundations, get involved in community awareness events, and share the topic on social media to start a conversation. The more we talk about mental health, the more normal it will become.
*Facts and information pulled from www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
The StayWell Health Center Team