September is an important time in our prevention community to help spread awareness about suicide. It is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24-year-olds and it is estimated that 48,000 Americans died by suicide in 2018.
The Suicide Prevention Council of Roanoke Valley (SPCRV) and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare (BRBH) want to share planned activities and ways to people can get involved. These efforts will focus on suicide prevention, warning signs, and strive to reduce the stigma associated with suicide.
The Suicide Prevention Month Newsletter details upcoming training: Adult & Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Talk Saves Lives Presentations. BRBH staff and SPCRV members are providing these virtual trainings. There are also important resources listed in the newsletter that focus on World Suicide Prevention Day on 9/10/20.
SPCRV and BRBH are also kicking off a social media campaign for September that focuses on self-care, (#weallcareforselfcare). Because self-care is way more than just a bubble bath or taking a walk, this campaign will explore the different types of self-care, ways to care for one another, and highlight important resources, tips, and information.
Our next installment of the Spreading Kindness Card Campaign will focus on the elderly. They are facing the most threats and challenges during these times of isolation and quarantine. Cards will be collected throughout the month and then distributed to local senior citizens to help put a smile on their faces and show that we care about them.
“Suicide is at epidemic proportions according to the CDC. Isolation and disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic may also make it more difficult for some to cope. I encourage everyone in our Roanoke Valley community to learn more about the warning signs for suicide and what you can do to help a friend, family member, coworker, classmate, or neighbor. Usually, those closest to an individual are the first to notice warning signs. Your support for your loved one to get help can make ALL the difference. You do not need to be a mental health professional to take advantage of many of the educational opportunities listed. You can play a big part in preventing suicide. Offering hope to someone may be the most important thing you do today.” – Debbie Bonniwell, CEO, Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare
Become more suicide aware by taking advantage of these opportunities throughout September. Suicide is preventable and we can all reach out and help one another.