September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, including National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16) which kicks off with World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. National Suicide Prevention Month gives us an opportunity to shine a special, encouraging light on this topic that affects us all, and send a clear, hopeful message that help is available, and suicide can be prevented. This year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is highlighting their new Talk Away the Dark campaign, which includes a PSA film, personal stories and perspectives, shareable social media graphics, and more.
During National Suicide Prevention Month, AFSP is highlighting a set of actions that anyone can take to bring attention to suicide prevention:
- Join a local AFSP chapter to drive change and understanding in your community.
- With local programs and events in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, AFSP’s chapters are at the forefront of suicide prevention. Start a conversation in your community and send the message that suicide no longer hides in the shadows: connect with your local AFSP chapter to raise awareness and funds and spread hope with other AFSP volunteers through local programs, activities, and events, like the Out of the Darkness Community Walks taking place in communities nationwide this fall.
- Share information about the 988 Lifeline using 988’s Partner Toolkit, which includes social media graphics, key messages, videos, and more.
- AFSP advocates for the funding and expanded support of the 988 Lifeline – if you want to learn more about how you can support the 988 Lifeline, read more about AFSP’s advocacy work here.
- Educate by bringing the Talk Saves Lives program to your school or workplace.
- Knowledge and understanding deepens conversations. AFSP’s flagship education program is available in specialized modules, including TSL: Suicide Prevention Education for Workplace Settings and TSL: Latinx and Hispanic Communities – which you can bring to your community for National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep 15-Oct 15).
- Attend an International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
- Those who have lost a loved one to suicide often feel hesitant to tell others the type of loss they have experienced. September is a great time to spread the word about the hundreds of local and virtual “Survivor Day” events taking place each November – including Día de Esperanza (Day of Hope) for the Hispanic community – enabling survivors of suicide loss to come together to find connection, understanding, and hope through their shared experience.
- Watch a special episode of “Ask Dr. Jill”
- Research helps us understand what leads someone to suicide, and how we may effectively save more lives. On September 13 at 3p (ET), you can tune in to a special episode of Ask Dr. Jill, featuring AFSP’s Senior Vice President of Research, Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman with guest Dr. Madelyn Gould, an expert on suicide contagion and reporting and storytelling practices that safely drive the national conversation. Click here to learn more.
- Connect people to help through the Interactive Screening Program (ISP)
Even when people know about available mental health services, shame, fear, and embarrassment often prevent them from seeking help. ISP is a customized platform that starts a confidential conversation that often leads people to support. Click here to learn how to bring ISP to your own school or organization.
More resources: National Suicide Prevention Month Resources
Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org)
To Your Wellbeing,
The MINES Team