September is Suicide Prevention Month

Every year, the month of September is set aside for us to raise awareness for suicide prevention and to remember those we have lost. This month can be difficult for many of us to navigate, but it is also an opportunity for us to offer HOPE to someone in need.

It is important during this time to remember the resources that are available to us. The Suicide Lifeline has a new, easy-to remember number (simply dial 988) and has expanded to offer support to individuals experiencing any type of mental health crisis. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health crises, 988 is the number to call! A trained professional will walk with you during the crisis and can connect you with additional resources in your community.

While it is great to have resources like 988 and other local hotline numbers (which you can find under the Get Help Now! tab of this page), studies overwhelmingly show that prevention and early intervention are far more impactful than crisis intervention. This means it is crucial that we become familiar with warning signs of suicide.

Here is a list of common warning signs that a person may be considering suicide. It is important to note that many of the changes in behaviors or emotions will likely happen over a period of four or more weeks.

  • Avoiding friends or family
  • Confused thinking or struggling to concentrate
  • Expressing excessive sadness or worry
  • Overuse of substances such as drugs or alcohol
  • Thinking or talking about suicide
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Aggressive or passive behavior out of character to them
  • Withdrawal
  • Changes in appetite

You can find more information on potential signs here.

Together as a community, we can come together to support friends, family, and even strangers that may be struggling. There are classes to help educate at the very basic level to help spot warning signs and symptoms, and how to support before a crisis happens. Mental Health First Aid is a great program that OSU Extension offers for FREE right now, both in-person and virtually. Register here go.osu.edu/farmstress22mhfa

Upcoming Mental Health First Aid training dates

Would you recognize the signs of worsening mental health in your friends, family members, neighbors, or colleagues? Would you know how to react and help if someone was experiencing a mental health crisis?

Mental Health First Aid is a course designed to help you become aware of mental health challenges and teaches you how to respond in both crisis and non-crisis situations.  We currently have trainings scheduled through the end of 2022, and will soon be announcing our 2023 training dates.

These are blended virtual courses, where participants complete approximately 90 minutes of online self-paced learning before attending a six hour-long instructor-led training on Zoom. You can get more information and register for a training by clicking here.

If you have a large group that would like to host a training, or if you would prefer an in-person training, please reach out to Bridget at britton.191@osu.edu to discuss.