Ways to Support Suicide Prevention

Ways to Support Suicide Prevention

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and there are many ways that you can help support this important issue. Mental health conditions and suicidal thoughts are more common than you may realize. In Hancock County, “mental health and suicide” was among the top five concerns of respondents to our 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment. You can help support suicide prevention and those struggling with mental wellness with these steps.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is in immediate risk of self-harm or suicide, call 911 immediately. We also recommend calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or texting the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741) if you prefer text. These services are both free, confidential and available 24/7. 

Take a QPR suicide prevention class

Just like you would take a CPR class to be prepared for an emergency response situation, our QPR suicide prevention training can prepare you to save someone’s life too. QPR stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer,” three steps you can take to support someone who may be considering suicide or self-harm. QPR classes will help you identify the warning signs of suicide in loved ones, friends or coworkers, and how to get them access to resources that can help. Healthy365 offers QPR classes quarterly, and you can sign up for our next training online

Remember the signs of suicide

There are several warning signs of suicide or self-harm that you may be able to identify in people you interact with often. Some of these signs include talking about wanting to die or about being a burden to others. They may also experience feelings of hopelessness, or act more anxious, agitated or reckless with extreme mood swings. Those considering suicide may start using alchohol or drugs more frequently, sleep too much or too little, or withdraw from life and isolate from others. If you notice any of these signs in someone you know, you should get them help right away.

Know who is at risk

Anyone can be at risk for suicide or self-harm, even those who seem “fine” on the outside. Knowing the warning signs of suicide can help in suicide prevention, but it can also help to know the populations who may be at higher risk. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), population groups at greater risk of suicide can include veterans, American Indians, LGBTQ+, young adults, loss and disaster survivors and survivors of a previous suicide attempt. If you have a friend or loved one in one of these categories and notice a change in their behavior, keep an eye out for the early signs of emotional suffering. 

Help reduce mental health stigma

You can also help prevent suicide by reducing the stigma around mental health and wellness. If someone is able to talk about their feelings or get help from a mental health professional early on when they are having a difficult time, it may prevent them from ever getting to the point of contemplating suicide. At Healthy365, you can work with a Support Navigator to connect you or someone you love with resources such as support groups, counseling/therapy and more. We host events like Rise Above It to discuss important mental health concerns and offer coping mechanisms to our local community of teens and adults. You may also consider supporting the Hancock County Mental Health Campaign, a funding effort to bring mental illness and substance abuse to light — and bring an end to darkness and suffering.

Always know that help is available for those in crisis, and you can contact Healthy365 online or at 317-468-4231 for a connection to local mental health resources and more.

The Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

The Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for a refresher on the five signs of emotional suffering. It is always important to keep an eye out for even subtle changes in your friends, coworkers and loved ones in Hancock County. They may be suffering emotionally without recognizing symptoms, or they may not be ready to ask for help. With the help of Healthy365, we can connect your loved one to the mental health resources they need for their emotional balance. 

1. Personality Changes

Someone in emotional distress may start to behave differently from their usual personality. These changes could be gradual or sudden. People suffering from emotional pain may start to behave in a way that doesn’t align their their usual values or spirituality, or they may just seem different in general. 

2. Uncharacteristically Agitated

People in a cycle of emotional suffering may have more issues with their anger. They may be frequently irritable or seem unable to calm down. If you notice a loved one who is normally even tempered seeming more angry, anxious, agitated or moody, it may be a sign that they need help. In severe situations of emotional distress, some people may even have trouble sleeping or have an explosion of anger over minor problems. 

3. Withdrawal or Isolation

A difficult sign of emotional suffering for loved ones to help manage is withdrawal or isolation. It can be hard to notice other signs if someone starts to pull away from you. But for a person who is normally social, this can also be a sign of distress. Some people will stop taking part in activities that they once found enjoyable, or in extreme cases may even stop showing up to work or school. Be sure to keep in mind the person’s usual social activity (such as introverts) and get help if they start to pull away from their normal support system. 

4. Risky Behavior or Poor Self-Care

If you have a loved one suffering from emotional distress, you may start to notice them neglecting their usual level of self-care. They could stop taking care of personal hygiene, or they could start abusing alcohol or other substances. Risky or self-destructive behavior is an important cry for help in emotional pain, but may also alienate loved ones. 

5. Feeling Overwhelmed or Hopeless

The fifth sign of emotional suffering is the feeling of hopelessness or becoming easily overwhelmed. Especially if the person is generally optimistic, feeling hopeless or depressed is a sign to watch out for. Some people in emotional distress may also feel grief, worthlessness or guilt. In extreme cases, they could feel like the world would be better off without them, or express suicidal ideation

How Can You Help?

You can help a friend or loved one in emotional suffering first by knowing and recognizing these signs. If you notice one or more of these signs in someone you care about, talk to them about it. You can suggest working with a Support Navigator at Healthy365, and we can connect them with one of the many local resources to best fit their mental health needs. NOTE: If you feel they are at risk of harming themselves or others, call 911 immediately. 

Reach out to a Healthy365 Support Navigator today at 317-468-4231 to discover the wide variety of resources that are available to local Hancock County residents.

Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

Five Signs of Emotional Suffering © 2015 Give an Hour