Suicide Prevention Month Encourages Open Dialogue about a Taboo Topic
For far too long, suicide has been a taboo topic, causing a collective silence on the subject. A lack of open dialogue about suicide can create barriers to treatment. This September, during National Suicide Prevention Month, Family Health Centers encourages everyone to pull together to change the conversation about suicide.
Dispelling the Myth of Talking about Suicide
Talking about suicide can be difficult. Many people are afraid to ask questions or don’t know the right questions to ask. Some people even are reluctant to bring up the topic for fear they may put an idea in another’s head or push them over the edge.
Although talking about suicide is never easy, studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase the likelihood of them taking their own life or experiencing suicidal thoughts. In fact, research suggests that acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
Open Communication is a Step in the Right Direction
When an at-risk individual talks about suicide, it is often a plea for help. In these situations, an open conversation can be one of the first steps to encouraging a loved one to receive the help they need. By lending a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on, you could be making a significant contribution to their continued health and wellness.
But, to truly change the conversation about suicide, first, there must be a conversation. So, let’s open that dialogue this September during Suicide Prevention Month.
Tips for Helping a Loved One in Crisis
If someone close to you is struggling with mental health issues, there are several ways you can help them through a tough time.
Be There for Them
- Let them know they are not alone
- Show your interest and support
- Listen actively to what they have to say
- Help them make a connection with trusted individuals, including family members, friends, or health care professionals
Remaining in touch with a loved one after a crisis or being discharged from professional care can make a considerable difference in their recovery. Studies have shown that the likelihood of suicide deaths decreases when someone follows up with the at-risk person.
Suicide Prevention Month Highlights the Importance of Communication
National Suicide Prevention Month, which is recognized every September, reminds us all about why it is necessary to maintain open lines of communication with loved ones in crisis. If you or someone you know is in need of someone to talk with, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) and the Crisis Text Line (741741) are available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Family Health Centers’ Behavioral Health Team is Here for You
Our behavioral health team is available to assist you and your loved ones with diagnosing and treating mental health issues. We provide quality, community health care services to all regardless of insurance status or the ability to pay. Request an appointment today at a Family Health Centers’ location in your neighborhood.