September is National Suicide Prevention Month. 988 is the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline available 24/7 for anyone contemplating suicide. This year, the 988 Crisis Lifeline shares the message that everyone can help prevent suicide and encourages everyone to ‘Be The 1 To’….. Ask, Be There, Keep Them Safe, Help Them Stay Connected, Follow Up and Learn More.
ASK-Those who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks about them in a caring way. Acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.
BE THERE-Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.
KEEP THEM SAFE-When lethal means are made less available, suicide rates by that method decline.
HELP THEM STAY CONNECTED-Creating a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help them take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
FOLLOW-UP-Brief, supportive, ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention, especially for individuals after being discharged from hospitals or care centers.
LEARN MORE-Get kits, resources, events and more at the official website. Go to www.BeThe1To.com.
Tara Fink, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, serves all patients of all ages who are having any type of mental health concerns. She encourages the following phrases of what to say to someone who is struggling or contemplating suicide:
- Thanks for opening up to me.
- Do you want to talk about it?
- Is there anything I can do to help you?
- I’m here for you.
- Tell me more.
- Are you getting the care and support you need?
- Can I drive you to an appointment?
- How are you feeling today?
DO NOT SAY….
- It could be worse.
- Just deal with it.
- Everyone feels that way sometimes.
- You may have brought this on yourself.
- You’ve got to pull yourself together.
- Maybe try thinking happier thoughts.
According to the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, silence can make people feel even more alone. By starting a conversation, it lets the other person know you care about their well- being, that you are supportive and willing to listen.
Help is available locally for those suffering from a mental health issue. Fink is available to see patients at both the Veterans Memorial Hospital Postville and Waukon clinics. To make an appointment to see her in Postville, call 563-864-7221 or in Waukon call 563-568-5530.