In recognition of September as National Suicide Prevention Month, the Union County Board of County Commissioners encourages residents to share messages of hope and raise awareness about resources for those in need of help.
National Suicide Prevention Month supports a global awareness-raising effort that impacts all communities. The International Association for Suicide Prevention states that “suicide ranks consistently among the top 20 causes of death globally across all age groups. One in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide.”
“As a community, we can all take part in suicide prevention, by helping to remove the stigma around suicide, being there for a family member or friend through their darkest moments, and taking actions that show we care,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca L. Williams.
September 10 is National Suicide Prevention Day. At 8:00 p.m. local time, individuals from all over the world are invited to light a candle near a window as an act of remembrance demonstrating support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention has endorsed the theme of “Creating Hope through Action,” an optimistic approach that emphasizes sharing knowledge and taking simple, ordinary actions to help make a difference.
One important way to help is to raise awareness about the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. This free 24/7 hotline can be reached by dialing, texting or chatting 988. The Lifeline connects callers with trained counselors and a network of more than 200 local crisis centers.
Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.
Lifeline is a federal program run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It has been in operation since 2005 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The program is now called the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to emphasize a renewed focus on accessibility. The three-digit 988 code is much easier to remember and dial, but callers can also continue to use the existing 10-digit number, 1-800-273-8255, to connect with Lifeline.
Please note that veterans can dial “1” after dialing 988 to connect directly with the Veterans Crisis Line. The Veterans Crisis Line can also be accessed by calling 1-800-273-8255 (then press 1), texting 1838255, or chatting at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat