September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important that we are there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help each other save lives.
One action I’m taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. For this reason, it is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R.4194/S.2661) to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country that support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.
I lost my father to suicide when I was 14 years old. He was only 33. Then, I lost my best friend to suicide at age 20, just five years ago. I was almost lost to suicide (but luckily AFSP and resources were easily available to me). My siblings have all attempted to take their lives. Each of them have ended up in the emergency room and were saved by miracles.
We must make suicide prevention resources more available to save lives. We must make it more accessible to everyone. We must have more awareness out there. We must do more. And you can help. Please, I’m begging you to take action and help as much as you can. In this time of uncertainty, we all need to find new ways to connect and support each other. Together, we #KeepGoing.
Rebecca Palmer, Eagle Mountain