Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
By Catherine Van Tassell, PA-C, DipACLM, LCSW
This September, we observe Suicide Awareness Month – a time dedicated to raising awareness about suicide prevention and promoting open dialogue about mental health. Our theme for this month is “Intentional Conversations,” emphasizing the importance of active listening, empathy, and understanding when discussing mental health and suicide prevention. As a caring and supportive community, we can make a difference by coming together to learn, support, and uplift each other.
Why Intentional Conversations Matter
Suicide is a sensitive and challenging topic, but by engaging in intentional conversations, we can create a safe and supportive environment for those who may be struggling. By being intentional in our words and actions, we can show we genuinely care about one another’s well-being, reducing stigma, and encouraging help-seeking behaviors. These conversations have the power to save lives, offering hope and resources to those who need it most.
How Can You Participate?
Educate Yourself: Take the time to understand the signs and risk factors associated with suicide. Knowledge empowers us to recognize when someone might be in distress and offer appropriate support.
Listen Actively: Be present and listen without judgment when someone opens up about their feelings. Sometimes, all a person needs is someone who will truly hear them.
Show Empathy: Respond with compassion and understanding. Empathy can create a sense of connection and validation for someone going through a tough time.
Watch Your Language: Be mindful of the language you use when discussing mental health or suicide. Avoid stigmatizing language and stereotypes.
Encourage Help-Seeking: Share information about available resources and support services. Encourage anyone who needs help to reach out to professionals or seek assistance from their support network.
Check on One Another: Reach out to colleagues, friends, or family members regularly. A simple “How are you doing?” can go a long way in making someone feel cared for and supported.
A Call to Action
Let’s come together as a community and make a difference in the lives of our loved ones, friends, and coworkers. Throughout September, we encourage you to engage in “Intentional Conversations” with those you love and care for. Together, we can break the silence and make a positive impact.
Thank you for your dedication to promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention.