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MIND & BODY: September is Suicide Prevention Month

National Suicide Prevention Month is observed during September. Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 6-10, and National Suicide Prevention Day is Sept. 10.

Suicide is defined as the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. 

In 2018, in Kentucky, 800 people died by suicide. On average, one person died by suicide every 11 hours.

In the U.S., 48,344 died by suicide in 2018, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

The language most commonly used when someone kills themselves is, “committed suicide.” Committed is often seen as a negative term.

More respectful and less stigmatizing language would be “died by suicide,” “concluded suicide” or “killed themselves”.

Individuals end their lives for various reasons.

There is a myth that only experts can prevent suicide. The fact is suicide is everybody’s business. Anyone can help prevent the tragedy of suicide.

It is more likely that someone will talk about their plans to end their life if someone asks them as compared to sharing their ideas without being prompted.

What does this mean? If you feel someone may be experiencing thoughts of ending their life, ask them. Start the conversation.

Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment. 

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention training can teach you signs someone may be having suicidal thoughts and teach you skills to approach the topic of suicide.

For more information about upcoming trainings or to schedule a virtual (Zoom) QPR training for your organization, contact the Clark County Health Department’s Shoppers Drive location at 859-744-1488. QPR is offered at no cost.

To support individuals in maintaining mental wellness, CCHD will be offering mental wellness materials at 273 Shoppers Drive.

These materials will include a stress ball, coloring sheets, tobacco education information, mental health resources and other materials. These supplies will be available while they last on Tuesday, Sept. 8, beginning at 10 a.m. outside the front entrance. Please maintain six feet of social distancing from others and wear a mask. 

The Clark County Mental Health Task Force created the Mental Health and Substance Misuse Resource Guide, which includes information such as housing, food resources, substance use and mental health support and more beneficial information. This can be accessed at www.clarkhealthdept.org.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or are experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-275-8255 or text TALK to 741741.

Be kind to yourself and to others.