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.

Rise Above It: A Free Mental Health Event

Rise Above It: A Free Mental Health Event

In a recent community survey, one of the most pressing wellness concerns in Hancock County was identified as mental health. Healthy365 is committed to finding solutions to pressing health issues like this, in part with free events like Rise Above It. These events take place annually, offering space for adults and teens to open up about mental health and substance abuse and identify potential sources of help. 

What is a Rise Above It event?

During an annual Rise Above It event, attendees can hear from special speakers and attend focused workshops to learn more about mental health awareness. Vendor booths from local organizations and businesses that support mental wellness offer services that can help attendees learn how to cope with life’s challenges and stresses, either for themselves or to help in a loved one’s wellness journey. Question and answer sessions also provide a time for personal feedback in order to reduce stigma around mental health and substance abuse issues. 

Who is the intended audience?

The intended audience of Rise Above It events are local residents aged 12 and older. Attendance is free for all participants. Although the majority of event speakers and sessions are relevant to both parties, there are also dedicated workshops just for teens or for parents. For example, the next Rise Above It on September 28 will include a simulation called “Hidden in Plain Sight.” This workshop will showcase the ways that a teen could stash alcohol, drugs or vape devices, as well as pro-drug messages to watch out for. 

In addition to the resources offered to teens at Rise Above It, our Hancock County area schools have incorporated Bring Change to Mind Clubs. These student-led clubs are dedicated to empowering students to educate each other and their loved ones to create a culture of peer support within their schools and community.

What topics will be addressed?

The topics addressed at Rise Above It vary slightly from year to year, but for the upcoming 2021 event, we’ll be hearing from speakers on the following mental health topics:

  • Anxiety– This session will be led by Jennifer Luchtefeld, a trained social worker who works with families and children in a variety of contexts. 
  • Social Media– Led by Stephanie Nancarrow, a Youth Educator with the Indiana State Police and ICAC Task Force, this session is called, “Target: How Predators use Technology to Groom Children.”
  • Grief and Loss– Katherine Murray will lead the session on grief and loss, with her experience as the chaplain and bereavement coordinator at Hancock Regional Hospice.
  • Depression/Suicide– This session on identifying suicide risks will be led by mental health professionals from Providence Behavioral Group: Brad Dobson, a licensed mental health and clinical addictions counselor, and Dr. Lani Jones, a licensed clinical psychologist. 
  • Vaping/Smoking– Co-led by Brandee Bastin, the Tobacco Initiative Coordinator at Hancock Regional Hospital and Sergeant Christine Rapp, D.A.R.E. Indiana State Coordinator, this session will specifically address the youth vaping epidemic. 
  • Substance Misuse– Kevin Minnick will lead our session on substance addiction and misuse, with his experience as a Licensed Mental Health and Clinical Addiction Counselor, Behavioral Health Probation Officer, and Court Treatment Specialist for Hancock County Courts. 
  • Self-Regulation– With a session called, “My Brain Does What? Understanding My Response to Stress,” Alli Chance will discuss self-regulation based on her experience as a TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) Practitioner with HopeAlight LLC.  
  • Mind-Body Medicine– This session on scientifically proven stress reduction methods, will be led by Laura Baker, the Congregational Network Navigator here at Healthy365.
  • A half-hour Q&A session will be offered to conclude the event, with all presenters in one room to answer any questions from the night.

Rise Above It on Sept. 28

To attend our upcoming Rise Above It event on Sept. 28, you can register yourself and/or others online or at the door. This free event will be held in-person at New Palestine Intermediate School (5613 W 200 S, New Palestine, IN 46163) and will also be broadcast virtually. To attend in person, come to Door #9 and doors will open at 4:30 p.m. The event will last until 8:30 p.m., and a free dinner will also be provided. 

If you have more questions about Rise Above It or how Healthy365 can support your mental health journey, you can contact our Support Navigators online or by calling  317-468-4231 for assistance.