September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and during this month we wish to address this serious topic and reduce the stigma around the discussion of mental health.
Many people struggle with feelings of depression and hopelessness, but the taboo of mental health is still prevalent in our society, and medical help is scarce and often expensive. This leaves those who struggle with mental illness vulnerable and seemingly helpless.
Even those who are close to a person struggling with mental illness may not be aware of their suffering, or don’t know how to help.
The most important thing you can do for a loved one dealing with mental illness is to ask and listen. Many people often feel relief simply knowing that someone cares about them and their well-being, and is willing to listen without judgment.
Another way to help someone is to create a network of resources and individuals they can turn to for support; many people are not aware of the resources available that can assist them and offer support.
Many social media sites have built-in functions to report concerning behavior and will reach out to the user to offer assistance and resources. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 in the United States if you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Let us use this month as an opportunity to be compassionate and supportive to those struggling around us, as we never know what someone else may be going through.