Tag Archives: Know the Signs

Suicide Prevention Month 2020: Know the Signs

Feelings of uncertainty and instability due to the unknown can take a huge toll on ourselves and everyone around us. According to the CDC, U.S. adults reported elevated of adverse mental health conditions recently. The increase was more significant among young adults, essential workers and minorities. Some people may be  fighting personal battles  –  questioning whether to continue to live through the emotional pain they are experiencing.  

We can all take simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. Learn the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling.

How can I tell if someone is having thoughts of suicide? 

Although in-person interactions may be limited it is more important than ever to be vigilant for those around us to know the signs. Staying connected with regular check-ins is essential so you can recognize the warning signs. If you are worried that someone is having thoughts of suicide, the next step is to find the words and reach out. It’s important to talk openly about suicide, and to ask directly: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Are you having thoughts of ending your life?” Learn about the warning signs and risk factors for suicide at www.suicideispreventable.org

You can also attend one of the Suicide Prevention Month events happening this month: 

  • Sunday, September 20 | 6:00-8:30pm 
    Virtual Screening of the film “S-Word” 
  • Monday, September 21 | 6:00-8:00pm 
    Know the Signs of Suicide Among African American and Other Communities  
  • Monday, September 28 | 6:00-8:00pm  
    Reconozca las Señales de Suicidio en la Comunidad Latinx 

For details and a full list of events throughout September,  visit smchealth.org/suicide-prevention-month. 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County): 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741 or find additional crisis resources here.  

 #BeTheOneSMC to reach out and check-in with someone you know. 

Know the Signs, Find the Words, Reach Out

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In recognition of September Suicide Prevention Month, San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services reminds everyone that by knowing the signs, finding the words, and reaching out, we can work together to prevent suicide.

Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues. Much like mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent those affected from talking openly or seeking help.

September, which is nationally recognized as suicide prevention month, is a time for us to share resources and stories to shed light on the highly taboo and stigmatized topic. It is important that individuals, friends, and family are receiving the resources to learn the signs of suicide, how to find the words to talk openly about suicide, and how to reach out.

If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the StarVista Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 (1-800-273-8255).

For more information on how to help a loved one who may be at risk of suicide, visit www.suicideispreventable.org.

For information on San Mateo County suicide prevention resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicideprevention.

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. Truthfully, we can all benefit from honest conversations about

How Knowing the Signs Can Help Save a Life

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Natalie Andrade with ALGEE the MHFA mascot

Before I started working at the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), I did not have a clue as to what the warning signs of suicide, depression, and anxiety were. It wasn’t until I became a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) instructor that I realized the importance of knowing the signs of mental health challenges. During my instructor training, taught by two amazing trainers from the National Council, I felt empowered to go back to my community and teach others important skills one can learn from the training. Knowing the signs of suicide can help save a life, yet the most challenging piece of knowing the signs is having the courage to start the conversation about suicide with someone you are concerned about.

In the YMHFA training, participants practice using a 5-step action plan called ALGEE, which stands for:

 

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

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Spanish Suicide Prevention Resources

Preguntar directamente sobre el suicidio puede ayudar a salvar una vida pero puede ser difícil si no sabe qué decir. Visite www.elsuicidioesprevenible.org para aprender sobre cuales son algunas de las herramientas de cómo usted puede hacer una gran diferencia en la vida de otros.

Asking about suicide directly can help save a life but it can be difficult if you do not know what to say. Visit www.elsuicidioesprevenible.org (Spanish) or www.suicideispreventable.org to learn about some of the tools on how you can make a big difference in the lives of others.

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Reducing the Risk of Suicide in Older Adults

olderadultsWhen most people think about suicide, young people come to mind. What many people do not know is that suicide rates are higher among older adults than any other age group. Physical and social challenges related to aging can increase the risk of depression, anxiety and isolation, but help is available for coping with these challenges. #BeThe1To support the older adults in your life and share the Institute of Aging 24/7 Friendship Line at 1-800-971-0016.  #SMCPrevention

To gain more in depth knowledge on how to prevent suicides among an older adult, you can attend the Suicide Prevention in Older Adults training on Friday, September 29 9:30-11:30am at 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood Shores. Register by 9/25 at www.smcolderadultsuicideprevention.eventbrite.com.

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Know The Signs When Pain Isn’t Always Obvious

 

To see more of the new Know The Signs posters visit these links: English  & Spanish

1 in 4 adults in America struggles with a mental health challenge. The Know the Signs Campaign dedicates itself to increasing knowledge and awareness of warning signs, how to talk about suicide, and accessing local resources for support. In a collaborative effort engaging experts and community stakeholders, the overall look and feel of the campaign has now been updated in order to further its mission. 

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is committed to wellness, recovery, and resilience in behavioral health services. In honor of Suicide Prevention Month, ODE created a calendar of events devoted to suicide prevention and awareness. Show your support by attending an upcoming event! 

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