Suicide Prevention Week, observed in the second week of September, provides a platform for communities, organizations, and individuals to come together and address this critical issue. It serves as a reminder that every life is precious and that we all play a role in preventing suicide.
In the last ten years, rates of suicide and suicide attempts have increased dramatically. Limited access to mental health care, heightened use of social media, poverty, and community violence have all played a role in this alarming increase and was magnified even further by the isolation of the pandemic.
Talk Away the Dark is a remarkable campaign initiated by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It emphasizes the importance of communication, empathy, and support in preventing suicide. The campaign encourages us to reach out to friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances who may be struggling with mental health issues. By engaging in open and compassionate conversations, we can help break down the isolation that often accompanies suicidal thoughts.
Here are some key elements of the Talk Away the Dark campaign:
- Start Conversations: The campaign encourages individuals to initiate conversations about mental health and suicide with those around them. A simple question like, “How are you feeling today?” can make a world of difference.
- Active Listening: Listening without judgment encourages us to genuinely hear what others are saying and provide support when needed.
- Share Resources: If you or someone you care about is going through mental health-related distress or if you have concerns about a loved one in need of crisis support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
This September, The Guidance Center is one of over 240 nonprofits participating in the citywide online giving campaign for Long Beach Gives. Funds raised will support specialty suicide assessment and treatment training for Guidance Center staff as well as professionals and paraprofessionals throughout the community. Your donation will have a direct and life-saving impact; every single client will receive this crucial assessment during their first visit with us.
By raising awareness, fostering dialogue, and offering support, we can collectively work towards a world where every individual knows they are valued, their struggles are understood, and help is readily available. Together, we can shine a light on the darkness of suicide and create a future where hope prevails.