In order to make real, tangible progress towards a cause, the public must first be made fully aware of the issue; awareness has always been at the root of change.
Over the years, there has been a notable spike in the number of “awareness days”, “awareness weeks”, and “awareness months”. Many, such as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and National Hand-washing Awareness Week can tend to fly under the radar at times due to their lesser than life-threatening causes. While many of the lesser-known “awareness” periods do have admirable goals and make significant strides in their respective fields, certain causes naturally gain more attention. In this category, the likes of the more familiar World Cancer Day and American Heart Month are certainly included. In terms of the causes that garner a great deal of attention, Suicide Awareness Month is firmly within that category.
Suicide Awareness Month, also known as Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, is a campaign aimed at spreading knowledge on suicide prevention and warning signs to the general public. Along with the main intention of informing the public, another goal is to diminish the stigma associated with the subject. Lessening the stigma will improve open and honest conversation surrounding suicide, so those who are uneasy about going to someone with the intention to talk about the topic may feel more comfortable doing so.
Being a cause that’s intention is to get as many people involved as possible, anyone can do their part to help spread the word. The individuals and organizations that are typically more actively involved are mental health advocates, suicide survivors, prevention organizations, and allies. Many of these people seek to demonstrate that their is no shame in reaching out for professional help.
Hands-on participants of Suicide Awareness Month look to statistics on both Global, and more specifically, U.S. suicide related data to better inform the public about the issue. The following statistics are the most up to date information made available by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control.
Due to the following statistics on gender, sexual orientation, and occupation in relation to suicide rates, many diverse subgroups have formed as a part of Suicide Awareness Month to put a focus on the demographics that are seeing higher than average rates. Some of the larger demographics included in this are active-duty soldiers and military veterans, as well as LGBTQ people.
Suicide Awareness Month is held during September. Additionally, there is also a National Suicide Prevention Week, as well as a World Suicide Prevention Day. World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10th each year, and National Suicide Prevention Week is the week that September 10th falls on, beginning on Monday and concluding on Sunday.
The primary aim of Suicide Awareness Month is to promote suicide prevention awareness by reducing the stigma surrounding the subject. The best way to do this is to be vocal and spread the word. Other ways to help out include getting involved in any community events being held related to the cause.
Donating to a reputable charity organization that deals with suicide prevention and awareness is another, year-round way to contribute. Some of the following organizations are considered to be the most trusted leaders in the field:
If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text HOME to 741741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor through the Crisis Text Line.
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s suicide, call Suicide Cleanup today to be connected to a professional cleanup specialist. Suicide Cleanup is available 24/7, 7 days a week, Nationwide so that you can begin the recovery process, and hopefully one day provide aid to those who need it through Suicide Awareness Month.