September 2021 —
The MLO Minute: By Allyson McAndrews, M.Ed., Director of Marketing and Outreach for McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse and Ryan P.C. —
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a period dedicated to educating and destigmatizing a topic that is often very challenging to talk about. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States among people ages 10-34. It is the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S., and in 2019, over 47,500 Americans died by suicide. These statistics are troubling and emphasize the need for change surrounding this public health concern. It is important to know that suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, economic status, etc., and warning signs of suicidal behavior should never be ignored.
Throughout September, advocates and mental health professionals work to raise awareness and connect individuals with mental health resources. Change starts with education, and in an effort to end this epidemic, mental health organizations are working to teach the public about recognizing warning signs and symptoms. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), for example, is emphasizing their theme of “Together for Mental Health” this September, using the hashtag #Together4MH on their social media platforms. This campaign focuses on improving mental health care and treatment, including a crisis response system. Another important hashtag being used to spread awareness is #BeThe1To. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and The National Institute of Mental Health, as well as other organizations, are using this hashtag to emphasize the 5 steps in helping someone who may be struggling. The #BeThe1To steps include “Ask”, “Be There”, “Keep Them Safe”, “Help Them Stay Connected”, and “Follow Up”. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline states, “The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope.” These campaigns emphasize how we can all be a part of spreading awareness about suicide prevention. Here at McAndrews Law, we advocate for persons with disabilities, including mental illness, and are proud to be a part of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.
For more information about the warning signs and National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, or to get involved, visit the following resources below.
Daemion Counseling Center is an incredible mental health counseling center that offers expert and affordable care for individuals 14 and up in Southeastern Pennsylvania. They are offering a handful of fall events, including a free virtual presentation this Monday, September 13th, 2021 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm titled “Community Conversations: Teen Suicide”. For more information about their events, including registration, click here!
- National Suicide Prevention Week 2021 in the US began on Sunday, September 5th and ends on Saturday, September 11th.
- World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th.