Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness and discuss this highly stigmatized topic. This month is dedicated to providing hope and information to people affected by suicide. Suicidal thoughts, like mental health conditions, can impact anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health issue. Suicidal thoughts should not be considered normal and can indicate more serious problems.

Warning Signs

Comments or thoughts about suicide, also known as suicidal ideation, can start small but over time become more explicit and dangerous. Here are a few warning signs to watch for:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Impulsive or aggressive behavior
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
  • Giving away possessions
  • Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family


Providing Support

Here are a few helping things to keep in mind when approaching someone who may be suicidal:

  • Start by expressing support and concern
  • Calmly ask simple and direct questions, like “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?”
  • Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
  • Have one person speak at a time
  • Try not to fidget or pace
  • Remove means (weapons, medications, etc.)


National Resources

The following crisis lines are available 24/7:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: call or text 9-8-8
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): call 1-800-950-6264 or text 741-741
  • Military/Veterans Crisis Line: call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838-255
  • Trevor Lifeline for people who identify as LGBTQ: call 1-866-488-7386

Resource: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Your Employee Assistance Program provides free and confidential assessment and counseling services. If you are interested in learning more about your benefits, call BHS at 800-245-1150 to speak to your dedicated Care Coordinator.