Discussion: REACH OUT AND TOUCH...
By Chiara Noble
September 2, 2022
Disclosure: I am not a licensed mental health professional and cannot offer/provide medical advice of any kind. I am sharing this information to offer support, help, and give information about setting life goals, developing healthy mental health habits, and other general information related to mental health wellness.
Be well, but make sure that others are well too!
Suicide is an uncomfortable topic to discuss but one that should be discussed openly and honestly. To help raise awareness and open the dialogue, we recognize September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is a problem that touches the lives of many Americans. Many of us may know someone, such as a friend, family member, or coworker who has attempted or died by suicide. Over the past two decades, suicide rates have steadily risen in the United States. Suicide is currently ranked 10th for cause of death among all ages.
It is important for you to know that suicide is preventable. With commitment and engagement in our communities, workplaces, and homes, together we can help reduce the number of suicides.
Some of the warning signs of suicide include but are not limited to:
Feeling extreme depression, guilt, or shame.
Talking about, or preoccupation with, death or suicide.
Preparing for death, such as updating/preparing a will, giving away possessions, or taking steps to access lethal means (buying a firearm, acquiring quantities of pills/medication, researching ways to die).
Exhibiting a dramatic change in behavior, including withdrawal from friends or usual activities, increased alcohol/drug use, difficulties in sleeping or eating, decreased self-care
Sometimes, it is easy to miss certain signs and symptoms from those around us because we are so busy and preoccupied with all that is going on in our lives. Keep in mind everyone has bad days (and if we’re honest about it, we are entitled to them) but really take notice if someone is displaying the above symptoms. Your observation could even be things outside of their normal behavior. If you think to yourself that something is “off” with someone or get that gut feeling that something just isn’t quite right, please do not ignore it. It also does not have to be sudden or drastic. These behaviors can manifest over time and, if gone unnoticed, can create a downward spiral.
There are multiple ways that we can be supportive of someone who seems to be having a hard time. Talking to people, be present, actively listening and following up are a few. Talking to someone and opening the lines of communication can be very helpful. You may be the only person who either notices that someone is struggling, or that the person is even willing to talk to. Ironically enough, I had someone stop by my office in the middle of writing this. During our exchange of greeting and asking how each other was doing? She responded, “well, my back hurts, my feet hurt, and I’m having hot flashes. I’m just really having a rough time.” So, I paused what I was doing to talk to her.
I expressed I was sorry that she is having a hard time and asked if there was anything that I could to help. Explaining it’s okay to have bad days. We are allowed. That was my way of helping her to understand that it is okay to not be okay. Often when people are going through something, they keep it to themselves (myself included) because they don’t want to feel like they are burdening someone with their problems. Being present and actively listening to people could mean not being distracted by cell phones, email, or whatever else had your attention before it became theirs. Listen to what they are saying. Pay attention to nonverbal cues. Following up could be as simple as the next time I see the young lady from today. Asking her again to see if she’s hopefully doing better and if not, find out why. We can all do our part to check in on each other. After all, everybody truly needs somebody.
We have designated 988 as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline). Now active across the United States.
When people call, text, or chat 988, it will connect them to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
About the Writer:
Chiara A. Noble: Is a visionary, a woman of many talents who wears many hats. She is an ordained minister, wife, mother, daughter, sister. A published author and the co-host of Victory Talk, a virtual talk show, centered on helping people to grow, speak and live a victorious life. She is currently on the road to becoming a certified mental health advocate and life coach. She has faced many trials/tribulations but lives by the saying “storms make trees take deeper roots.”
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