In light of this, I thought we’d take a break from our usual “Weekend Reading” posts to talk about some ways you can help spread the word about suicide awareness and prevention, even if there are just a couple of days left or you can’t get away right now.
1. Educate Yourself
You can’t effectively help others if you’re not sure what you’re talking about, right?
For tons of resources like suicide warning signs, suicide prevention tips, and help for suicide survivors, visit websites like:
- American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)
- The Samaritans
Of course, don’t overlook the biggies, like the:
- National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) section on Suicide Prevention
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Suicide Prevention Resources and Publications
- Mental Health America’s (MHA) section on Suicide
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance’s section on Suicide Prevention.
2. Use Social Media
Use your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and even MySpace accounts to help educate your friends and followers about suicide prevention. You might share links to information (maybe to pages from some of the websites above) or even the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
3. Find Community Events
It might be too late for you to organize your own suicide awareness event, but more than 250 Out of the Darkness Community Walks are scheduled throughout the country. Check your state to see if any are happening in your area.
Can’t get to one? Help raise funds by donating to the event of your choice. There are options located on the Out of the Darkness website.
You can donate $10 to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by texting “AFSP” to #85944.
5. Distribute Information
If you’re pretty handy creating fliers and brochures, you might use information from the above-listed websites to create your own for distribution; otherwise, check out the multitude of fact sheets offered by the AAS, as well as the SPRC-provided youth suicide fact sheet.
Have you already participated in this year’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, or do you have plan’s for tomorrow’s World Suicide Prevention Day? Feel free to share your ideas, plans, and suggestions in the comments!