It isn't easy to talk about suicide. It’s difficult to know the right words to say to someone who is hurting and those left behind. Fortunately, many organizations are working to reduce the stigma associated with suicide, support individuals in crisis who need help, and provide resources to allies. Their efforts are culminating in Suicide Prevention Month (September), Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and Suicide Prevention Week (September 9-15).
"Many people feel apprehensive about learning about suicide prevention because it’s such an emotional topic," says Elysse Chay, PPI Prevention Services Manager. "But we encourage everyone to learn how to talk to someone who is living with mental health challenges to reduce the chance that suicide is an option."
Chay suggests learning more about the signs and symptoms of suicide, as well as the resources available to those who are struggling with their mental health.
"Some people want to cover up the fact that they are hurting, but a perceptive ally who isn’t afraid to reach out can prevent a mental health challenge from turning into a mental health crisis," Chay said. "You never know when you will be able to save someone's life."
Chay recommended seeking out information from these resources and participating in the many local suicide prevention events in September.
Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee Resources to Support Youth: This document provides local and national resources for youth in crisis and their loved ones.
Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee Online Resources for Suicide Prevention: This document includes websites, apps, services, and more for those in crisis.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 (en Español 1-888-799-9454) or chat with the Lifeline here. The site also includes resources for National Suicide Prevention Month.
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin: The statewide organization and Greater Milwaukee chapter offer lots of information and support for those seeking to end suicide with the Zero Suicide Model.
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: Offers social media resources and information about preventing suicide and supporting survivors.