As part of September’s Suicide Prevention Month, we shared some great ways on our social media that we, as community members, can help both ourselves and loved ones. Practicing mindfulness can help calm intrusive thoughts. Mindfullness can look like stepping outside to take in the beauty around us, finding green spaces, seeing art where we wouldn’t expect it to be, and genuinely taking note of everything you see, smell, and taste one experience at a time. This can help combat the ideation and thoughts of harm and break cycles. If you can’t go outside, there are various free videos on YouTube and mobile apps like Calm that offer free resources and trials.
One of our videos highlighted that individuals who do not have intrusive thoughts and/or suicidal ideation can help by showing up for those with these experiences and by being willing to talk about it. Showing up can mean answering a troubling late-night text or social media update, checking in on someone they usually hear from daily who suddenly stops contacting them and being willing to sit in silence and actively listen. Don’t be afraid to name and validate their feelings, but before you can do any of these things, make sure you have practiced your self-care. You can’t pour from an empty cup; however, fill it fast. Timing can be crucial to individuals who experience suicidal ideation, so try your best to act quickly and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your local crisis response teams by calling or texting 988.
Suicide Prevention can also be community advocacy for addressing basic needs like housing, accessible healthcare (physical and mental), food insecurity, human civil rights, and social justice. It can also be the practice of harm reduction, like gun safety laws and education, training, and distribution of life-saving medicines like naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and much more. Our navigator team works with organizations to provide free services and advocacy for community care and prevention of mental health crises. If our video series hits for you, please follow our social media on the buttons below and consider donating. We thank you for your continued support of Partner for Mental Health!