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Suicide prevention month: How to overcome suicidal thoughts or assist someone else

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide is a leading cause of death in America. Suicide was the cause of 49,500 deaths in 2022, a 2.6% increase from the prior year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The month of September is dedicated to suicide prevention.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) recognizes the month as “a moment in time in which we rally the public to create awareness of this leading cause of death and inspire more and more people to learn how they can play a role in their communities in helping to save lives.”

Getting professional help can be scary, so help the person get connected with a professional and offer to take him or her to the first appointment so the person doesn’t feel alone.  

soldier confronts therapist

Encourage those who are struggling with their mental health to seek out a professional who can help them.  (iStock)

Be an active listener

Always be an active listener and express that someone is never alone. It can be difficult to reach out for help, and if someone has chosen you to reach out to, it means that person has great trust in you and needs your support. 

Provide that person with support by listening to his or her feelings and continue to have follow-up conversations. 

Be a positive presence in the person’s life

Continue to be a positive presence in the person’s life. Be someone who can be counted on. If someone has strayed away from social interactions, continue to invite the person out and encourage him or her to spend time with others. This can help them avoid feelings of isolation. 

Be a safe space

Continue to be a safe space for the person who came to you. Make sure the person knows he or she can always talk to you. 

Provide resources and be someone who can be trusted. 

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Ashlyn Messier is a writer for Fox News Digital. 


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