10 Things to know for National Suicide Prevention Month

10 Things to know for National Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, an annual observance dedicated to increasing awareness and action around suicide prevention.

The month is a great time to intentionally set aside time to talk about suicide. Although this conversation is difficult, it can lead to people getting help, connecting to treatment and, ultimately, staying alive. If you feel like you lack the tools to have a conversation about suicide, keep reading to learn more from Johnson County Mental Health Center about resources that will better equip you to have that conversation.

1. 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Last July, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned to an easy-to-remember, three-digit dialing code, 988. The new dialing code routes calls to the national Lifeline network and provides a 24/7/365 connection to local support and services for those experiencing a mental health concern. Even though it is called a crisis line, it is important to know you do not have to be in crisis to reach out.

2. JCMHC’s Crisis Line

JCMHC’s Crisis Line (913-268-0156) provides crisis and non-crisis mental health support and resources. It is free, confidential and available 24/7/365. Sometimes, you just need to talk through something you are experiencing. A few topics you might call us to talk about could be grief, relationships, loneliness, depression and anxiety.

3. Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition

Preventing suicide is creating a community in which people can see a future. Join the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition’s monthly meetings that are dedicated to saving and supporting lives in our area through awareness, education, outreach and community partnerships. Meetings are at 3 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month. Learn more at suicideprevention.jocogov.org.

4. Lethal Means Safety

Lethal means are objects that may be used by individuals experiencing a suicidal crisis. Increasing the time and distance between a person in suicidal crisis and their access to lethal means can save lives. Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition has free lethal means safety tools available, like gun locks, medicine boxes and drug deactivation pouches. You can request the materials at jocogov.org/spcmaterials.

5. #ZeroReasonsWhy

#ZeroReasonsWhy is a teen-led storytelling and community mobilization campaign to remove stigma around mental health and prevent teen suicide. Follow along with them to hear stories and perspectives from brave teens that are doing powerful work to start conversations about mental health with their peers. Learn more at zeroreasonswhy.org.

6. Mental Health First Aid & ASIST

JCMHC provides mental health trainings and suicide prevention workshops that help participants feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Learn more about those trainings and sign up by clicking JCMHC Training Opportunities at jocogov.org/mentalhealth.

7. Follow JCMHC on Social Media

Follow JCMHC (@JOCOMNH) on social media and share messages of hope with your family, friends and co-workers. We will be sharing messages throughout National Suicide Prevention Month that you can share on your preferred social media channels. Do not be shy. Join the conversation and help spread the word.

8. Take 5 to Save Lives

Take 5 to Save Lives is a campaign that encourages everyone to take five minutes out of their day to complete five action items by World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10. The action items teach you to learn the warning signs, know the different ways to help and practice self-care. Learn more at take5tosavelives.org.

9. Find Support

Whether you have lost a loved one to suicide or survived an attempt, there are local support groups that provide healing, support and other services for people who are coping with devastating loss to suicide.

  • Suicide Awareness Survivor Support unites survivors of suicide by providing community support. Learn more at sass-mokan.com.
  • Survivors of Suicide Attempts (SOSA) is an eight-week support group program dedicated to helping suicide attempt survivors find healing, hope and inspiration. Learn more at saintlukeskc.org/sosa.

10. Ask Directly

Ask directly when you are worried about others and ask for help for yourself.