Did you know October 10th is National Mental Health Day? What does that mean you might ask. It is a day that raises awareness of mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness, one in 25 experiences serious mental illness, and one in six U.S. youths ages 6 through 17 experiences mental illness.
This years mental health day focused on suicide prevention, and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it. According to The World Health Organization every 40 seconds someone looses their life to suicide, that is roughly 800,000 people a year.
Mental health and suicide are such important issues to focus on because it affects everyone young, old, men and women. It is important to start conversations with family and friends to take away the shame and guilt people often feel, which can lead to people not reaching out when help is needed most.
If you suspect someone is suicidal simply listen, being there for someone can be life changing and is the first step in preventing people from feeling alone. Here are some conversation starters from the Each Mind Matters campaign in case you are like me and sometimes simply don’t know what to say.
“I care about you. How have you been feeling lately?”
“I’ve been worried about you, how are you doing?”
“You seem yo have a lot on your mind lately. I am here to listen.”
“I’m here for you, let me know if you need anything.”
“You’ve seemed stressed lately. What’s going on?”
If you or someone you know is suicidal do not hesitate to call The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, it is available 24 hours a day.