September 10th was world suicide prevention day. Why is it important to bring awareness to suicide prevention? Recent data released shows in 2021, there were 1.70 million suicide attempts in the UnitedStates. This number does not include individuals that have thought about suicide without an attempt. Depression and suicidal ideation are high in the U.S., and they are often seen as “taboo” topics.
For many, talking about suicide may feel shameful or embarrassing. Some of the reasons I have heard when working with clients include:
· fear of people finding out
· fear of being hospitalized
· fear of being labeled “crazy”
· not wanting to burden family or friends
· not wanting to feel judged
· feeling like no one understands
While this is not an inclusive list, it does bring to light some of the reasons it is important to remove the stigma surrounding this topic. When a person is having suicidal thoughts, talking to, and knowing they have someone who will listen and support them can help. Typically, the first person that is contacted when an individual is experiencing these thoughts is a friend or family member. It is important to do your best to not add to any shame, embarrassment, or fear through minimizing what they are experiencing. Let your loved one know you are so glad they reached out to you. You can provide support through listening and reaching out to a therapist or mental health professional. If you want to learn more about how you can help, check out this link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://afsp.org/what-to-do-when-someone-is-at-risk/
A note to those struggling:
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please know you are not alone. I know it can feel vulnerable and scary to reach out for help, but you deserve the support even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Our brains are tricky, and sometimes when they don’t feel good, it’s hard to make the decision to get help and support. In therapy, your information is not shared with family and friends unless you want it to be. Terms like “crazy” are not used, and you will not be labeled as such. Your therapist will not judge you for what you are struggling with. You do not have to go through this alone.
Resources you can explore:
Suicide and crisis lifeline: Call or text 988 - https://988lifeline.org/
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - https://afsp.org/
Ready to try therapy? Reach out to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with a therapist today. You can do this through the website.
Not ready to try therapy? That’s okay. We will still be herewhenever you are ready. In the meantime, look at the two links above.