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Suicide prevention: What can you do?

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Everyone can take steps to help prevent suicide. The most important steps are to talk openly about suicide and to learn about resources that can help you or loved ones recognize signs of a mental health crisis and find needed assistance. Below is a list of actions you can take to safeguard your own mental health and the health of those around you.

  1. Call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Share information about the Lifeline to build awareness in your family and community.
  2. Make an appointment with your primary care provider, and be open and honest about your mental health concerns. Your provider can help! In an emergency, use the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or visit the nearest Emergency Room.
  3. Learn about mental health resources in our area. Explore our list. 
  4. Enroll in a virtual Mental Health First Aid course to learn how to interact with someone who is experiencing a crisis. Both Youth and Adult classes are coming up soon and are taught by Community HealthCare System instructors. Learn the dates and how to register.
  5. Find out if your employer has an Employee Assistance Program. Many employers offer benefits that may include virtual or in-person counseling for you or a family member who is struggling.
  6. Explore school or community groups dedicated to suicide awareness and prevention. Local groups or local/school chapters of national groups may be available. Damon’s Purpose is an amazing group in northeast Kansas. Yellow Ribbon has chapters in some area schools. Ask around your community or school to see if other groups have been established.
  7. If you’re involved in farming or ranching or love someone who is, Kansas Ag Stress provides resources to help cope with the stress that comes with sometimes-overwhelming responsibilities. Explore resources, find needed care, or learn how to help someone in need.
  8. If you’re a parent, equip yourself to parent teenagers by taking a “Prepped and Ready” course online. The course was developed by Shayla Sullivant, MD and child and adolescent psychiatrist. Dr. Sullivant addresses difficult topics to help you learn to address them before a crisis develops. The course includes discussions of suicide prevention, eating disorder prevention, home safety (including storage of firearms and medications), self-care, and substance abuse. View the course.  
  9. Start a Screen Sanity small group in your community to explore the effects of screen time on youth mental health. Learn about the side effects of unhealthy screen use, how to develop a family screen plan to supports your values, how to have confidence in serving as a mentor/guide for your children in a digital world, and more! Community HealthCare System can provide a leader for your group. Email [email protected] or call 785-889-5133 to learn more.
  10. Talk to others. Many lives have been affected by suicide. Don’t shy away from meaningful interaction. Be sure to use person-first language to acknowledge people first, then their condition or disability. This helps reduce stigma and gives us the words to use in difficult situations.

Learn more about suicide prevention from these organizations:


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