In addition to National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Awareness Month, September is also National Suicide Prevention Month for both the LGBT community and the military.
Like I said in the previous post, September has a big responsibility to fulfill.
The first graphic above is from taking a pledge from The Trevor Project, it is a pledge saying I am committing to:
- Letting my friends know that I’m always available to talk.
- Being respectful and supportive of everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Listening with an open mind and without judgment.
- Taking what people say seriously.
- Checking in with friends who may need to talk.
- Helping a friend call the Trevor Lifeline if they are in crisis (1.866.488.7386)
- Tell a person I trust if someone is considering suicide (which in this case is me as I am ethically/legally responsible for this already).
This pledge and website are LGBT youth specific (which let me be clear I DO NOT consider any of these sexual identities mental health diagnoses), and the fact that this population is at a higher risk for suicide (4 times more likely).
I don’t feel like it is a coincidence that National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Month fall in the same month. Unfortunately, the risk of suicide increases if the person has a history of substance abuse.
** As I was preparing for this post, I found out that a friend I knew in high school committed suicide last week. Since I have not spoken with him in a number of years, I can not attest to knowing what he was going through at the time he decided to take his life. He has now left his friends and family with numerous questions (as they are posting on his Facebook page) and guilt. Unfortunately, suicidal ideation does not have obvious symptoms to most people until it is too late
The biggest thing you can do to find out if someone is contemplating suicide is to ask them. This will NOT cause them to think of suicide as a solution if they have not already considered it.
If you think that your friend or family member may be contemplating suicide or have told you that they are, please notify someone that can help them. If possible, I recommend staying with them until a medical professional can help them.
There are many suicide hotlines that you and someone you know can call. In the graphics above are posted phone numbers for those specific groups. Below is the National Suicide prevention lifeline number.
Help can be a phone call away and is always available. Suicide is 100% preventable.
Throughout the month and specifically in the week of September 8 – September 14, I will be posting more resources for suicide prevention.