Suicide prevention is a heavy topic, and one that we often avoid talking about at all costs. There is a lingering stigma surrounding mental health and suicide, however, these are issues that should be discussed honestly and openly.
Worldwide, nearly 800,000 people (about half the population of Idaho) die from suicide each year. For instance, in 2020 alone, there were 1.2 million attempts globally. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in America.
To help raise awareness and open up the conversation, the month of September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Let’s Work Together to Break Past the Stigma
We can all help shed some light on suicide prevention. That’s why we must continue working to break past the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to address these issues head on. Most importantly, talking about it increases our awareness as a community and brings this widespread issue into the public consciousness.
When you change the way you think, that is what changes the world. On a broader level, it is about learning the causes of suicide, the warning signs that someone you know may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, and key support or strategies you can offer someone who may be at risk.
Be a Leader in the Suicide Prevention Conversation
Each suicidal death is a public health concern. It not only has a profound impact on those around them—family, friends, and colleagues—it impacts society at large.
The goal is to continue to raise awareness about suicide prevention, reduce the stigma around suicide, and encourage well-informed action. Everyone can play a role.
Our actions, no matter how big or small, can provide hope to those who are struggling and feel alone.
The “Together for Mental Health” Campaign
Throughout September, NAMI will be highlighting the “Together for Mental Health” campaign. The Campaign encourages people to come together and unite to advocate for better mental health care, including an effective crisis response system. NAMI is an invaluable resource when it comes to gaining access to mental health and crisis resources.
Ultimately, NAMI wants any person experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors to have a number to call and a system to turn to for support. Together, we can advocate for better access to mental health care and build awareness surrounding how to respond in a crisis.
As part of Execs In The Know’s Leading with Impact initiative, we are challenging our CX community to take a stance and become a stigma-free leader, co-worker, friend, and family member.
You can download the “Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency” here. This guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs that a crisis is emerging, strategies to help de-escalate a crisis, available resources, and so much more.
Read previously published Execs In The Know articles on mental health:
What Is NAMI?
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The organization has more than 600 NAMI Affiliates across the country along with 49 NAMI State Organizations and national NAMI headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. NAMI educates by providing programs in thousands of communities across the United States and advocates to shape national public policy.