National Suicide Prevention Month and How We Can All Contribute
SEP 01, 2020 Amanda Perkins
As September ushers in our Fall months many of us that transplanted to the Tucson area from other states may find ourselves fondly reminiscing of leaves falling to be raked, warm apple cider, and apple picking season when thinking of September. However, the month of September also poignantly reminds us be deliberate in our self-care and to be vigilant in suicide prevention as September holds the mantle for National Self-Care and National Suicide Prevention Month across our great nation.
Being a company that has visibility into the tragic repercussions of suicide, Bio-One of Tucson advocates strongly to open the dialogue and visibility to self-care and suicide prevention platforms available to our Tucson community. A recent study released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (August 20, 2020) noted that, “over a quarter of youth ages 18-24 seriously considered suicide in June of 2020, but that data was not segmented by sexual orientation or gender identity.” Taking that information a step further on a national level, over 1.8 million LBGTQ+ youth specifically consider suicide a year as data collected supports that they have a higher exposure to violence victimization and suicide risk. The current conditions of our stay at home mandates and social distancing put additional strains on our community youth regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity as they may not have the same access as they may have had to access support networks, and some may be feeling isolated in current home conditions.
Many times, when we hear the magnitude of these numbers, we think that we do not have individual power to help affect change. We encourage our Tucson community to participate in National Self-Care Month and National Suicide Prevention Month in any way they deem significant to contribute to continuing to save lives in our community.
We can all start with administering self-care. We can better help others if we first help ourselves. Self-care means taking specific actions to protect and nurture our mental health. Modeling great self-care routines is a powerful tool to our community youth. This could be simply taking time to mediate daily, journal, exercise, connect online with friends and family, or by making sure that we are taking care of our mental health needs either in either virtual or physical appointments.
Additionally, we can acknowledge the prevalence of suicide and understand the warning signs and available resources. Warning signs for suicide can manifest in a variety of ways. Some of the most common can be but are not limited to the following:
· Sleeping too little or too much
· Talking about being in unbearable pain or feeling trapped
· Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
· Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
· Increasing the use of alcohol or drug use
· Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
· Withdrawing from usual activities or making oneself isolated
· Displaying extreme mood swings (rage, depression, sadness)
We can also make ourselves accessible to anyone to talk to if they have need or to provide them guidance to resources. Some great resources available right now are Lifeline (any age) 1-800-273-8255 or text SIGNS to 741741. Additionally, specific for youth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning community there is the trevorproject.org. Youth under age 25 can reach guidance at Trevorproject.org 24/7 by contacting 1-866-488-7386 or texting START to 678678. Trevorproject.org also provides educational resources to train counselors, educators, administrators, school nurses, social workers in LGBTQ competent suicide prevention. In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month Bio-One of Tucson will be donating a portion of their profits to Trevorproject.org in the month of September to continue to support the innovative research that brings new knowledge to the field of suicidology.