September marks Suicide Prevention Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and focus on how each of us can do our part in preventing suicide.

The continually changing situation in our country, dire warnings, growth in case numbers, changes to our lifestyle and threats to our livelihoods are hard to comprehend and potentially triggering for those living with a mental health condition.

Putting Prevention Into Action

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for adults and the second leading cause of death for individuals age 15-34. The good news: suicide is preventable.

With the right resources and intervention, individuals can find help or learn how to provide support to others, potentially saving lives.

The American Psychological Association offers the following tips for doing your part in suicide prevention:

1. Know the warning signs. Familiarize yourself with common danger signals and take them for what they are: potential and unignorable signs of suicidal thoughts and actions. 

2. Check in with yourself. We often put ourselves on the back burner when considering suicide prevention, but it is equally crucial to assess the warning signs in ourselves and the status of our own mental health. 

3. Speak up. Contrary to what some believe, expressing concern and mentioning suicide does not plant the idea in an at-risk person’s mind. Instead, it can send an important message about your level of care and understanding. 

4. Seek and offer help. There is a perceived stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment. It is crucial to comprehend and instill in others that seeking this treatment is the brave decision to fight for one’s life when least motivated to do so. 

5. Connect. The potential for feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety is more prevalent now than ever. Commit to connecting with others, not only for their sake, but for your own. One 15-minute FaceTime call can make a world of difference in this time of physical distancing. 

Hope Lives Here

In a year full of changes surrounding a national pandemic, we must remember that protecting our mental health is equally as important as caring for our physical health. 

Getting help from a skilled, well-trained and compassionate therapist is key to moving beyond persistent feelings that can prevent you from enjoying a healthy and fulfilling life. If you or a loved one feels as though all hope is gone, please don’t suffer any longer and don’t feel like you are on your own. Treatment is available and people are here to help, not only during Suicide Prevention Month, but all year long. 

Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas provides therapy for children, adolescents, families, adults and seniors in a comfortable environment. Treatment focuses on a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues and contemporary work, school or family problems. Call (501) 954-7470 or click here to request an appointment with a professional therapist. Our team is available for in-person and virtual appointments.