Monday, September 11, 2017

Knowledge, understanding, and support can save lives

From September 10-16, Maine joins the rest of the United States and the international community in recognizing World Suicide Prevention Week.  World Suicide Prevention Week is an opportunity to learn about the role that all of us can play in preventing suicide and commit to supporting the mental health of our family, friends, and communities.
In 2015, 235 Mainers died by suicide, making suicide was the second-leading cause of death for Maine youth and young adults between the ages of 15-34. Every suicide death or suicide attempt has a ripple effect that stretches far beyond the individual and their family, affecting schools, workplaces, and entire communities. Few of us remain untouched.
But there is good news: suicide is preventable. This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Week is “Take a minute, save a life,” reminding us that even small actions can have a big impact on the lives of those who may be struggling. If you suspect someone you know may be at risk of suicide, follow these steps:
  1. Show you care by listening carefully and without judgment.
  2. Ask them if they are thinking about suicide. Be direct and empathetic. (Asking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicide.)
  3. Stay with them (or have another caring person stay with them) while you locate help.
  4. Call the Maine Crisis Hotline (1-888-568-1112) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).
  5. If the person is at immediate risk of harming themselves, call 911.

If you would like to learn more about how you can help prevent suicide in your community or workplace, we invite you to attend one of the many training sessions offered in partnership with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program.  For more information, please contact Sheila Nelson at 207-287-3856 or sheila.nelson@maine.gov, or visit the Maine Suicide Prevention Program training website: http://www.namimaine.org/?page=TrainingCalendar.

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