Suicide does not discriminate, and it impacts us all. So, the WellPower encourages open and honest dialogue about suicide to help overcome the silence and shame that often discourages people from seeking the help and support that can save a life. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and during the month, mental health advocates, professionals, allies, survivors, community members and key organizations come together to promote suicide prevention.
So, what can you do to address suicide prevention?
Learn How to Access Services
Colorado Crisis Services
If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call this toll-free number 1-844-493-TALK (8255) to speak to a trained professional through Colorado Crisis Services or text TALK to 38255. In addition, Colorado Crisis Services operates six walk-in crisis centers across metro Denver. These centers are open 24/7 and offer confidential, in-person crisis support, information and referrals to anyone in need.
Know the Warning Signs
If you are concerned about someone’s well-being, know what warning signs to watch for. Speak up if you notice something!
- Expressing hopelessness
- Speaking as though they are a burden to others
- Stating they feel trapped and there is no way out
- Talking as if there is no purpose or meaning in life
- Making direct, indirect or conditional threats to hurt themselves, or talking about death and suicide
- Statements like: “I’m going away,” “You won’t have to worry about me anymore,” or “I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up.”
Behaviors and Actions:
- Change in typical behavior or routine, especially related to painful events, loss, or anniversaries of those significant events
- Researching different ways to hurt oneself
- Obtaining the means to do harm (example: purchasing firearms or collecting pills)
- Talking or writing about death, dying, violence and/or suicide
- Sleep challenges – insomnia or sleeping too much
- Giving away prized possessions
- Increased use of substances – illegal and legal
- Deteriorating physical appearance (example: decreased or absent daily hygiene)
- Engaging in reckless, risky and/or impulsive activities
- Withdrawing from friends, families, society, etc.
- Experiencing anxiety and/or agitation
- Experiencing rage, anger and/or irritability
- Dramatic mood changes
- Experiencing humiliation and/or shame
- Sudden happiness, relief and/or calm after depression
- Feeling disconnected, sad, not belonging and/or withdrawn
Take the Mental Health First Aid training to better understand mental health symptoms. The WellPower offers Mental Health First Aid classes for adults, adults assisting youth, and special classes delivered in Spanish and American Sign Language. This training provides crucial information to help someone in need.
Look into Caring4Denver
Consider becoming involved with Caring4Denver, a Denver ballot initiative that would raise $45 million per year to fund mental health and addictions services for children and adults.
Connect with People
Tell them you care and that they matter. And, don’t forget the power of a kind smile.
Suicide prevention is not just a focus of the WellPower during National Suicide Prevention Month. The organization has become an innovative thought leader in the realm of suicide prevention, both throughout Colorado and nationwide. The WellPower has embraced the Zero Suicide initiative, a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems. And in addition to Zero Suicide, the organization is involved in many unique programs that target suicide prevention: