Suicide Prevention Awareness Month aims to increase conversation, to highlight available crisis resources, and to spread hope that prevention is possible. Suicide is a major public health concern and was the 12th leading cause of death nationwide in 2020. It can often be a challenging topic but talking about it openly is a necessary step to reducing stigma and connecting people to resources.
Health care providers are positioned to make a significant difference in their patients’ lives by developing skills to effectively ask about suicide and provide access to resources. The Washington State Healthcare Authority maintains a page on its website with trainings and resources for professionals, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness has a variety of training resources.
There are many crisis resources available for anyone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts, including:
- Calling 988, the nationally established crisis number, to reach a crisis responder. This line was established this year and intends to route individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis to the correct resources rather than utilizing 911
- Texting “home” to 741-741 to contact a crisis counselor via text at the Crisis Text Line
- Utilizing employee assistance program resources through your employer to be connected with a therapist