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"Suicide Prevention Toolkit" Guest Blog Post by Jennifer Scott

Part of our new format for See, Believe, & Achieve is our guest blogger series. These are individuals from around the world who are part of our SBA family and who have put together mental health and wellness tips to share with our readers. What I really love about this new addition is that it really adds to our mission of creating an online mental health community and allows us all to learn new ways to stay and be healthy in so many ways.

Our first guest blogger for SBA is Jennifer Scott. In reading over e-mails, I came across her note and was very honored to "meet" someone who was open and willing to share some insight with readers. Thank you, Jennifer for being part of our See, Believe, & Achieve family and THANK YOU for taking the time to share this insightful and helpful post.

If you have some mental health and wellness tips you'd like to share with our readers, feel free to contact us!

Happy reading,

Photo Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Suicide Prevention Toolkit: Where to Turn When You’re in Crisis and How to Get Back to Enjoying Life
Submitted by, Jennifer Scott

According to the CDC, “A combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide.” Fortunately, there are also protective factors. With timely and effective interventions and treatment, suicide can be prevented. Help is available through emergency resources, medical providers, friends, family, teachers, and many other members of your community. Long-term prevention strategies can be learned and utilized in order to lessen or eliminate future suicidal crises.
Where to Turn in Crisis
Reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you’re in a crisis. Veterans can call the same number and press one. You can also utilize their text or chat services. Their services are free and confidential, and a crisis counselor is available 24/7. They even offer services in Spanish and for the deaf and hard of hearing.
If your life is in immediate danger, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Try to have a friend or family member drive you if possible. If you have a mental health professional whom you see, most offices offer a 24/7 service in case of a crisis, so you can call them for assistance.
Statistics on Suicide and Depression
In the United States, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death. Every 13 minutes, a person dies by suicide, and roughly 105 Americans die by suicide every day. For every 25 suicide attempts, there is one completed suicide. Each year, an estimated quarter of a million people become suicide survivors.
Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts, and they attempt suicide three times as often as males; however, males die by suicide more often, with male deaths representing 79 percent of all suicides in the United States. That makes suicide four times higher among males than females.
Depression affects up to 25 percent of American adults in a given year. While 80 to 90 percent of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication, only half of those experiencing depression actually receive treatment. That’s an alarming rate considering that approximately 90 percent of individuals who died by suicide met criteria for at least one mental health illness.
Prevention Strategies for the Future
There are small actions you can take every day to prevent future suicidal thoughts or attempts. Start keeping a journal, and write in it every day. Discuss your thoughts and hopes for the future, as well as the people you value in your life. Spending time with friends and family is also important. Whether you go out for dinner or just spend one-on-one time at home, make time for family and friends who are caring and understanding. You should also seek out help from a mental health professional.
Avoid drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse has been linked to increasing suicidal behavior. Individuals with an addiction are almost 6 times more likely to attempt suicide. Additionally, drugs and alcohol interfere with the effectiveness of medications prescribed for depression and other mental health illnesses.
Learning to recognize your earliest warning signs of a suicidal episode is a critical part of long-term prevention. Your body will give you subtle warnings when an episode is coming on. These signals are meant to alert you to treat yourself with care, so you don’t need to feel ashamed or angry.
You may feel like you’ll never get better, but know that many people suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts, and so many others have found a way to feel better. If you’re in a crisis, reach out to emergency resources or call a trusted family or friend. Each day, use your long-term prevention strategies to take one more step toward feeling happier and healthier.

With SpiritFinder, Jennifer Scott offers a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can discuss their experiences.


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