Each year, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hosts National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September. It’s an opportunity for us to educate ourselves about the risk factors associated with suicide and ensure that we know how to get help for ourselves or others. Unfortunately, talking about suicide is still taboo in many circles, including many communities of color. Often we misjudge mental health issues, like depression or anxiety as personal weakness or a crisis of faith.
NAMI has great tools and information to help us understand when and where to get help, including Help Yourself. Help Others that lets you take an anonymous suicide risk assessment online. Once the assessment is complete, the site allows you to email the results to yourself or print it and take it to your physician or a mental health service provider. It even has specialized assessments and resources for college students and military servicemembers and veterans (folks who are close to my heart!), since they are often at higher risk for self harm. If you need help finding a provider and you’re not in crisis, the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) can assist you.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of ending their life, call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The lifeline is open 24/7 and will talk with you about anything. They will help you get stabilized and connected to help.