September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness.

Suicide is a difficult topic, but one that is critical to discuss. Whether you’re struggling with mental health issues, feel concerned about a loved one, need support after a suicide loss, or are a survivor, you are not alone. Suicide is preventable, so if you or someone you know has warning signs, seek help immediately.

If you are in a state of distress, reaching out is the first step to safety. Help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 801-273- TALK (8255).

Helpful Tips when having thoughts of suicide
Use coping skills:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Exercise
  • Deep breathing

Call/text a friend or loved one:

  • Let them know you’re having a difficult day
  • Ask if they can spend some time with you

Find distractions:

  • Go to a friend or loved one’s home
  • Go for a bike ride or a walk
  • Go to your favorite place or store
  • Go somewhere you feel safe
  • Watch your favorite TV show or movie

Make your environment safe:

  • Ask someone to store your medications and firearms
  • Lock up medications and firearms

If you don’t feel you can keep yourself safe right now, seek immediate help - call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For more info visit https://liveonutah.org.

Tips to Protect Your Loved Ones: WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Behavior Changes

  • Acting anxious
  • Change in behavior (personality changes, miss appointments, drop in grade, not finishing work, withdraw socially)
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Failure to take care of self
  • Giving away belongings
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Harming self
  • Loss of interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Talk of hopelessness or suicide
  • Visiting loved ones to say goodbye
Also be mindful of significant life changes and stress: This is a good time to check in with someone and see how they are doing.
  • Recent divorce
  • Loss of job
  • Death of loved one
  • Terminal illness diagnosis
  • Financial loss
  • Unwanted move

More information about warning signs for suicide can be found at https://liveonutah.org.

What Next?
If you recognize these warning signs or think someone might be considering suicide — Ask them! This does not make someone more likely to attempt suicide and can help save lives. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

When someone is having thoughts of suicide, effective treatment and social supports are key. To find mental health resources in your area, click here.

Tips for Treatment

  • Pair medication with talk therapy and self-help for greater impact.
  • Talk to your provider about their experience treating suicide risk.
  • Seek out specific treatments, like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • Call 211 for information on additional resources, especially if you are not insured.

How to provide social support to someone having thoughts of suicide?

  • Spend quality time together as a family or as friends
  • Discuss ways to manage stress, anger and disappointment
  • Lock up hazardous items like firearms and medications
  • Trade in social media and screens for outdoor or social activities
  • Improve sleep habits
  • Help foster a sense of purpose by engaging in meaningful activities and relationships

Need Help?
If you or someone you know is in a life threatening emergency or in immediate danger of harming themselves. If this is a mental health crisis, Call 911 and ask for a CIT Officer (Crisis Intervention Team). They are specially trained to help someone in a mental health crisis.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts call: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. For veteran suicide prevention assistance, please press 1.

If this is not a crisis, but you are in need of emotional support, engagement, or encouragement, call the Utah Warm Line: 801-587-1055

Here are some additional resources that may be helpful in times of mental health distress:

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