Greetings Nighthawk Students and Families!
September is national suicide prevention month. The purpose of having a month dedicated to suicide prevention is to decrease the stigma around mental health and increase suicide prevention awareness. A component of increasing awareness is understanding mental health and substance use disorders while celebrating recovery. Starting conversations that encourage help-seeking can build resiliency in our community.
Suicide can be prevented. Some of us have been touched by the tragedy of suicide. We may have lost someone close to us or been moved by the loss of someone we may have never met. Suicide can be prevented; you can help by taking the following actions:
- Know the Signs: Most people who are considering suicide show some warning signs or signals of their intentions. Learn to recognize these warning signs and how to respond to them.
- Find the Words: If you are concerned about someone, ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. This can be difficult to do but being direct provides an opportunity for them to open up and talk about their distress and will not suggest the idea to them if they aren’t already thinking about it. The “Find the Words” section of the Know the Signs web site suggests ways to start the conversation.
- Reach Out: You are not alone in this. Before having the conversation, become familiar with some resources to offer to the person you are concerned about. Visit the “Reach Out” section of California’s Suicide Prevention campaign website to identify where you can find help for your friend or loved one.
Suicide Prevention Activities
Improve Your Mood
Music is an outlet that has been found to improve mood. In fact, research has found that people listen to music to achieve self-awareness, social relatedness, and arousal and mood regulation. Check out this uplifting playlist or create your own and share with others!
The act of coloring is more than just a fun break from the stress of daily life, it can be very beneficial for your mental and emotional health.
Take time to reach out to others in your life and let them know you care and are thinking about them by sending them a Care Card.
Directing Change Screening
Grab the popcorn and check out the amazing videos created by Riverside County youth in this statewide film contest. These short videos feature Public Service Announcements on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Find them all at Directing Change CA Films. Click on the image below to see a Directing Change Video created by MVHS students.
Attitude of Gratitude
There have been multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. Research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and can reduce depression. By working at shifting our mindset to one of gratitude, we can improve our well-being. Start a gratitude jar! Write down messages of hope and what you are grateful for.
Share Suicide Prevention Resources
Share about the many available resources. Visit Up2Riverside to find inspirational stories of recovery and learn about resources.
National Alliance on Mental Illness Crisis Text Line (24/7)
Text NAMI to 741-741
National Domestic Violence Hotline (24/7)
Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Parent Helpline (Monday through Friday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm PDT)
Call 1-855-2736 for emotional support and advocacy for parents
Riverside County Suicide Prevention Lifeline-Support and Referrals (24/7)
Mental Health Urgent Care Center (24/7)
The Trevor Project (24/7)