September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
By Jill Kozberg • JFCS Mental Health and Senior Services Director
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a critical topic for all of us to know about, think about, and talk about. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide affects people of all ages and is considered a leading cause of death in the U.S. It estimates that in 2020, someone in this country died of suicide every 11 minutes. The CDC reports that over 12 million adults seriously considered suicide, with over 3 million planning an attempt and over 1 million attempting suicide. No one is immune to suicide risks.
Many factors contribute to these risks. Both the CDC and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are stressing the importance of connection as a way to combat suicidality. The CDC tells us that “people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk. Being connected to family and community support and having easy access to health care can decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors.”
Suicide does not only impact the individual. It has a significant impact on the person’s friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and wider community. Those touched by suicide often experience guilt, sadness, anger, depression and anxiety.
It’s important to know that SUICIDE IS PREVENTABLE, and by reducing isolation and increasing coping strategies to manage stress, we can move in that direction. Suicide is a public health concern and it is up to all of us to help make our families and communities safer.
This safety net comes in all forms. It comes in the form of emotional support; in the form of access to safe and stable housing; in the form of financial stability and security; in the form of access to affordable health care; in the form of food security; in the form of strong coping and problem solving skills; in the form of crisis intervention.
We have free and confidential access to a range of crisis intervention options, including:
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline – this is for people who are in a mental health crisis or are concerned about a loved one who needs support. It is available 24/7/365. Call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.
COPE – this is a mobile crisis team that can respond to anyone in Hennepin County. COPE offers support and help you decide what to do next. It is available 24/7/365. Call 612-596-1223; outside of Hennepin County call 274747 from anywhere in the state of Minnesota.
Minnesota Warmline – this is for people who are struggling with their mental health, but are not experiencing an emergency or crisis. It is available 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Call 651-288-0400 or text “Support” to 85511.
Please reach out to the people who may be suffering alone. If you are worried that someone may be suicidal, it is worthwhile to ask. Therapists at JFCS are currently seeing clients in-person and providing online therapy. Our services are confidential. We accept most insurance, including Medicare and Medical Assistance, and have a sliding-fee scale for those without insurance. Call 952-546-0616 for more information.