Suicide and mental illness continue to be growing public health issues that affect our members, our campuses, our places of work, and our local communities. Last year in response to learning that suicide is currently the #2 leading cause of death among students*, we decided it was important to incorporate National Suicide Prevention Week into our ongoing Risk Management Education program. We began to share statistics, available resources, and personal stories of Brothers who struggled with thoughts of suicide or had recently lost someone to suicide.
We each have a role to play in suicide prevention, and by working to understand the factors that may lead to suicide and by equipping ourselves with resources, we can potentially save a life. As leaders in our communities and as Brothers, we must break the silence. We can do this by having real conversations about mental health and the personal toll it can take on all of us if left unaddressed. When we spend the time to become aware of the well-being of others and even ourselves, we can begin to make a positive impact.
Join us this week on our social media channels as we discuss warning signs of suicide, strategies for having conversations about mental health, learning about available resources, and finding out ways you can help prevent suicide year-round. To get started, check out the resources provided below, post a flyer, hold a presentation, or share statistics on social media to begin bringing awareness. Together, we can fight suicide and heal hearts and minds.
*This statistic was provided by ActiveMinds.org, the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students.
Potential Warning Signs
- Talking about feelings of hopelessness.
- Talking about having no purpose.
- Talking about feeling trapped.
- Talking about unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated.
- Sleeping too little.
- Sleeping too much.
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information, and local resources.
(“Potential Warning Signs” and “What To Do” provided by the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.)
What To Do
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
- Do not leave the person alone.
- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp objects.
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or health professional.