September is National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide every year. Read that again. Upsetting, right?

One way you can help lower this statistic is to talk about it. Having open conversations about mental health and emotional struggles helps reduce the stigma – which is what prevents a lot of people from seeking the help they need.

You should reach out for professional help if you or someone you know is showing any of the following warning signs:

  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

There are several ways you can go about getting help. If you are employed or have insurance, you can call the behavioral health phone number on the back of your health insurance card or see if your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). You can also call a local counseling office and schedule an urgent appointment. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you have lost a loved one to suicide, the impact can be intense and overwhelming. Know that you don’t have to cope alone. Talk to a caring professional or join a support group to help you heal and move forward.

Join the movement to #StopSuicide and together, we can save lives.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), New Directions Behavioral Health

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