September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September 4-10, 2022 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Providing support and resources to friends and loved ones experiencing crisis or other mental wellness struggles begins with each of us.

Join Northern Arizona Healthcare, the American Foundation for Suicide Preventions and SAMHSA in educating yourself on how to be a mental wellness ally to those around you by identifying warning signs and leveraging the tools available, both in your community and beyond.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, lists the following warning signs of suicide:

  • Increased alcohol and drug use.
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community.
  • Dramatic mood swings from despair to aggression to calm.
  • Talking, writing or thinking about death.
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior.
  • Putting affairs in order and giving away possessions.
  • Threats or comments about killing oneself. These can be thoughts like, “I wish I wasn’t here,” or they may be more specific and direct.
  • Planning. Possibly trying to buy, steal or borrow tools to commit suicide, such as a firearm or prescription medication.

People with suicidal thoughts often feel shame about them, but suicidal thoughts do not mean someone is weak or bad – only that he or she needs help, now. Families and friends need to know that talking honestly about suicide and getting help does not “give someone the idea” to attempt suicide.

This Summer, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline became the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The new three-digit dialing code will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States as of July 16, 2022.