Riley Austin, Editor

In a world of rat races, ambition, competition, and the “American dream,” there is often little room for respite from one’s mental struggles. People find themselves having no time to take care of themselves: processing emotions, opening up to loved ones, and taking a breather are thrown to the wayside in favor of the endless climb up the corporate or educational ladder.

Mental health is an important topic that many do not talk about, which leads to an even bigger issue: suicide. The lack of conversations about the importance of mental health has been such an issue that September has been deemed National Suicide Awareness Month. During this month, mental health advocates, community members, companies, schools, and allies try to spread awareness about this topic. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is a large advocate for awareness on this topic. Their main message is #BeThe1 which stands for their suggestion to “change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope,” by asking, being there, keeping them safe, helping them stay connected, following up, and learning more about suicide and the prevention of it. 

Suicidal thoughts and ideation can impact any demographic regardless of age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. September is designated for talking about this very taboo and often stigmatized topic.  Although this month is designed to talk about these topics, this does not mean that they should not be talked about year-round. Talking about suicide does not lead to more suicidal thoughts or “successes,” but instead can actually prevent them altogether. It allows the person to know that what they are experiencing is normal and that they are not causing these feelings. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play to save lives and create healthy and strong individuals, families, and communities.” The first step to suicide prevention is talking about it.

The number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255