National Prevention Week: Preventing Suicide

This May for Mental Health Awareness Month, we are working with Partners for Prevention and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to send the message that no one’s mental health is fully supported until everyone’s mental health is supported. We are encouraging everyone to get involved by taking one simple action to encourage their friends, family, and community to take care of their mental health. Everyone has different experiences with their own mental health, and their own preferred methods of care and support. It is important that we all remain open and ready to listen to others’ points of view and perspectives, especially during this challenging time.

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The past year forced many to accept tough situations that they had little to no control over. The pandemic forced us to cope with situations we never even imagined, causing a lot of us to struggle with our mental health as a result and challenging our resiliency. It is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles that commonly prevent individuals from seeking help slow down their journey to recovery.

How YOU can support Mental Health for All:

For Yourself

  • Open up to someone close to you about something that you have been coping with
  • Identify 3 simple self-care activities that work for YOU, like meditating, journaling, or exercising.
  • Schedule a check-up to talk to a doctor about your mental health, as well as your physical health
  • Add crisis resource numbers to your phone and encourage a loved one to do the same.

For the People in Your Life

  • Let people in your life know you are a safe person to talk to about mental health
  • Actively listen and engage when someone comes to you for help
  • Connect people in your life who have shared interests, such as music, arts, sports and more!

For Your Community

  • Advocate for mental health policies that ensure that everyone in your community has access to:
    • mental health care.
    • suicide prevention training.
    • funding for local crisis resources.
  • Get involved with your local Suicide Prevention Coalition efforts, local American Foundation for Suicide Prevention chapter, or support outreach events.
  • Help transform your community into one that is smart about mental health, where everyone has support when they need it.
  • Bring mental health education, research or support programs to your school, workplace, or community center.

To ensure mental health for all and prevent suicide, we need your help to reduce stigma, build awareness, and support those at-risk for suicide. You have the strength and power to reach out and save a life. Knowledge, awareness, advocacy, and empathy are the tools you may already have. Below are even more resources to empower you to confidently tear down the stigma surrounding mental health and save someone’s life.

Together We Can Prevent Suicide…Prevention Works.

WHAT TO DO

  • If your life or someone you know is in imminent danger, CALL 911.
  • Offer help and support; listen.
  • Assess the environment for your safety and theirs – Remove any objects that may be used for harm.
  • Stay with the person until assistance arrives.
  • For additional help call:
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-5233 (TALK).
    • Allegany County Crisis Hotline at 1-888-448-3367.
    • Text the word “hello” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Join the Allegany County Suicide Prevention Coalition at any of our upcoming workshops; including SafeTalk, Talk Saves Lives, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), and Youth Mental Health First Aid, or share your time and support as a member of the Coalition.

Are you a survivor of suicide loss? We can help connect you to local support groups.

To learn more, like us on Facebook or call Jose Soto at 585-610-9765.

Or visit these great online resources:

National Prevention Week 585 Prevention Podcast with ACASA’s Community Educator Ann Weaver.

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