28 Sep Preventing Suicide: Social Connections Can Make a Difference
Suicide, like mental health seems to continue to carry a negative stigma around the country, where people say they are fine but are not. Some fear the labels others might put on them for seeking out therapy. While we know neither is the reality, we need to start having frank conversations about our feelings, getting help and utilizing resources that will better our well-being and lead to suicide prevention.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Suicide Data and Statistics, the United States reached an all-time high suicide rate in 2022, where nearly 50,000 people took their own lives, a 3% increase compared to 2021.
“With numbers like this, why aren’t we talking about suicide, trying to normalize the conversation to take the stigma away from this topic?” said Dr. Nina Mena, MD, Chief Medical Officer at CHRIS 180. “It is time to bring suicide to the forefront and ask people in question, “are you thinking about suicide?”
Death by suicide impacts all ages, races, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds. People like beloved actor, Robin Williams, American singer, Naomi Judd, and Stephen Twitch Boss, the dancing DJ, and Executive Producer on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to 2019 Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst. Regardless of celebrity status, the mental health crisis is real.
“People who contemplate suicide often think that they are a burden to their family and friends,” said Dr. Mena. “Find a therapist or help someone find one. Having a therapist is like dating, there are all kinds of therapists and types of therapies,” said Dr. Mena, MD, Chief Medical Officer at CHRIS 180.
Potential Suicidal Red Flags
- Behavior: Radical behavior changes
- Withdrawn: Lack of participation in regularly scheduled activities
- Diet: Eating more or less
How We Can Strengthen Our Lives and Prevent Suicide
The U.S. Surgeon General’s 2023 report, Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation – The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community mentions that it is important for people to have social connection; to foster a variety of valuable relationships that create a sense of belonging that helps hold people accountable. It states that it is best to have frequent interactions with diverse types of people. From family and friends to neighbors and co-workers, they all feed an individual in different and unique ways. Each group serves various individual needs. While one might be a mentor, another might offer support during a crisis.
It is important to assess our relationships as some interactions and connections might tend to always deliver negativity in our lives, rather than build them up through positive interactions.
Take stock in your social connections and remove yourself from negative circumstances and situations that could potentially put a strain on your overall mental health.
Suicide Prevention Resources
If you or someone you know could be contemplating suicide, reach out and call 988 or the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at (800)715-4225. If you are looking to talk to someone about your current struggles, CHRIS 180 offers counseling services. For suicide prevention training reach out to the CHRIS 180 Training Institute at [email protected]