Today I am sharing information and links on a topic that is close to my heart. September is National Recovery and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which is an observance to help educate Americans on substance and mental health disorders, resources and treatments available so that they can move forward and live a healthy life.
Most of us, unfortunately, have had experience with friends, coworkers, family members and possibly even ourselves, with these issues at some time in our life. This month strives to increase awareness and celebrate the successes of those in recovery. I hope it will also decrease the stigma attached to those seeking or getting the help they need.
One in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions and more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide every year. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it. We can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide because just one conversation can change a life.
I have several people close to me that have been in rehab multiple times, jail and prison because of drugs and/or alcohol. Fortunately, they are all doing very well now because they sought the help they needed, some with intervention and some of them multiple times. The thing is they kept trying until they got it right. Please never give up. I have personally been on antidepressants for almost two decades. I went off of my meds once, cold turkey. That was not a good thing at all! I went back on them quickly and sought out therapy, which has helped considerably. I am not afraid to share my experiences and encourage therapy to friends. In my opinion, therapy gives you someone to talk to about anything you want with no judgment or preconceived ideas and they truly want what is best for you and to help you become the best you possible.
Even if you don’t have anyone you know to go to, there is help out there. Here are just a few places you can find help and information:
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Alliance on Mental Illness Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
NAMI Find Support
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SAMHSA Nation Recovery Month
SAMHSA Find Help and Treatment
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis
or emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of more than 150 crisis centers.
This is by no means a full list of the resources available but hopefully, it gives you a place to start.