In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month in September, we want to bring awareness and share resources. As we continue to shift thinking around mental health, addressing this often taboo issue is vital. Often, those who take their lives have struggled privately with their feelings. Those who are left behind often wonder what they could have done to help understand the internal battle their loved one was facing. The wounds to those left behind never truly heal.
This past year has been tumultuous. Quarantine exacerbated loneliness, and Covid left some feeling hopeless. That is why this year, we must push suicide prevention even harder than before. Every life counts.
Suicide Prevention: Know the Warning Signs
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Expressing feelings of being trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
Ways You Can Help
- Never keep it a secret if a friend tells you about a plan to hurt themselves.
- Find out what resources are available in your area, or encourage your loved one to call
- Use The Do’s and Dont’s
- Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
- Become available. Show interest and support.
- Don’t dare him or her to do it.
- Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
- Take action. Remove means, like weapons or pills.
- Get help from people or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Online and Local Resources for Suicide Prevention
Monterey County Behavioral Health provides crisis intervention services for people of all ages. Their crisis support staff offers support to people experiencing a mental health emergency. The Crisis Team is located at Natividad Medical Center Emergency Department. You can call the crisis line at (831) 755-4111 and ask to speak with a Crisis Team member. In addition, they provide a Mobile Response Team for Children and Youth 21 and under. That service can be reached at (831) 687-4379.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center is an excellent way to find tangible ways to help others. Their website promotes Effective Suicide Prevention through Strategic Planning, Keys to Success and Comprehensive Approach.
Suicide prevention Lifeline is an excellent resource supported by the CDC and several other government agencies. Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides support to both those struggling with suicidal ideation and those trying to help a loved one.
In addition, YWCA Monterey County provides Mental Health services to those having mental health issues due to Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking. While our crisis lines assist anyone who calls, we encourage those experiencing suicidal thoughts to call or chat with Lifeline as their services are focused on that particular mental health crisis.
We believe that mental health is just as important as physical health and we encourage people to seek help. Being alone is a choice, there are people standing by waiting for you to realize that you are not alone.
YWCA-MC is a non profit dependent on donations. If you would like to support our organization, please consider donating online.