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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Nack

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month


September is national suicide prevention awareness month. In honor of that, we wanted to make an article about suicide prevention including resources and how to help those who struggle with suicidal thoughts. Many of us know someone who has either completed suicide, attempted suicide, or whose life has been impacted by it in some way. While so many have experienced it from some perspective, it is not often talked about. A common myth about suicide is that talking about it will lead to an increased likelihood that someone will attempt it. In reality, talking about it actually decreases the stigma around it, leading to more people seeking help and opening up with others. Another myth is that most suicides happen without warning. There are actually warning signs that precede most suicides, even if they are only shown to close friends or family. The signs may not always be recognized as such, but they are often there ("5 common myths about suicide debunked," n.d.). Some of these signs are increased use of substances, aggressive behavior, withdrawing from relationships or social settings, mood swings, or reckless behavior. Signs that are more concerning and indicative of the presence or suicidality are giving away possessions, collecting pills, buying a weapon, tying up loose ends such as paying off debts, and saying goodbye to loved ones ("Risk of suicide," n.d.). The third myth is that people who complete suicide are selfish, and are taking the easy way out. People who die from suicide want the pain to stop, and they feel hopeless that it ever will. Thoughts about suicide are a serious mental health symptom, and are not necessarily a sign that someone wants to die. Another common myth is that suicide only impacts those with mental health conditions. In actuality, there are many other stressors that could lead someone to feel suicidal such as criminal or legal issues, loss of home, death of a loved one, recent or impending crisis, and the list goes on. Not all people with mental health conditions experience suicidal thoughts either. The last common myth people believe is that once someone is suicidal, they will always be. Active suicidal ideation is often short-lived, and is often an attempt at controlling emotions that are too painful and deep for the individual to handle. Once the thoughts are resolved or lessened, the ideation will lessen as well. While they may return, they are not forever ("5 common myths about suicide debunked," n.d.).

Recently, the suicide prevention hotline has been given the three-digit code of 988 for people to call or text when they are needing help, and it is now called the suicide and crisis hotline. There are more than 200 crisis centers in the United States that take calls for this number, and studies have shown that callers to this line feel less suicidal, depressed, and overwhelmed. They also feel more hopeful ("lifeline and 988," n.d.).



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