Author: Mikki Burcher, Valeo Behavioral Health Care
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and now, more than ever, we need to talk about suicide. The rates of death by suicide have risen significantly over the past decade, with 2022 having the highest number of deaths by suicide ever recorded (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, provisional data). Government entities, mental healthcare workers and advocates, and many others are working to address this mental health crisis, but we can help by paying closer attention to the actions of those we are close to. If someone has a radical change in behavior, such as sleeping too much, avoiding contact with others, or being very angry, they may be having suicidal thoughts. A person who is considering ending their life may begin putting their affairs in order, talking about dying, or saying goodbye to loved ones. If you think someone in your life may be considering suicide, ask directly – “Are you having thoughts that you want to kill yourself, or have you attempted suicide?” – and offer to help them find professional care. By talking more openly about suicide and knowing the signs and symptoms to look for, we can do our part to care for our friends and neighbors and decrease the number of deaths by suicide.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
We can all help prevent suicide. You can dial 988 for help. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
Valeo Behavioral Health Care Crisis Services If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health challenges, including suicidal thoughts, professional help is available. Valeo’s Crisis Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for walk-in mental health emergencies. It is located at 400 SW Oakley Avenue. You can also call the Valeo Crisis Line, available 24 hours a day, at 785-234-3300.