September is Suicide Prevention Month.
Suicide is not an easy subject to talk about, and oftentimes we think that prevention is not our personal responsibility. Yes, for those contemplating suicide, there is no substitute for professional help. However, there are little ways we can support our friends, family, coworkers, and others in our community, letting them know that they are not alone.
This September, Jefferson Center is launching a campaign called You Are the Right Person. The second half of this statement is, To Help Prevent Suicide, and we have also broken down this statement to fit small ways you can contribute to suicide prevention in your everyday life.
The most important thing to remember is that if you are worried someone in your life might be contemplating, you must directly ask them the question, “Are you contemplating suicide?” If you do not believe you can do this or it makes you too uncomfortable, find someone who can. It’s always better to ask directly than not to do so.
That being said, here are a few reasons why you, yes you, who may not have any background or training in mental health, are still the right person to help prevent suicide:
- You are the right person to…notice. Notice when someone makes a comment about suicide or has a change in behavior. You can learn more about suicide warning signs here.
- You are the right person to…ask. Ask about what you’ve noticed in a person’s behavioral change using “I” statements. Example: “I noticed you haven’t been to class in a while. Is everything okay.” If needed, you can then ask more directly, “Are you thinking of suicide?”
- You are the right person to…listen. Listen carefully without judgement. Resist the urge to “fix” problems and focus instead on support.
- You are the right person to…learn. It’s normal to feel ill-prepared in conversations about suicide and prevention. However, there are resources to help you. Learn more about proactive suicide prevention through a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Class.
- You are the right person to…get help. You can assist someone seeking help from a professional. Say, “Thank you for trusting me. Let’s connect with someone who can help with this.” If necessary, contact Colorado Crisis Services by calling 1-844-493-8255 or texting “TALK” to 38255.
While September is a great month to share resources, offer support, and give hope, suicide prevention is a topic that needs to be addressed year-round, so we will be continuing the conversation around suicide prevention for the rest of September and into the future. Check out the video below to learn more about Suicide Prevention, and subscribe to Jefferson Center’s YouTube Channel to receive more videos in this series.
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