The month of September is No Matter What…You Matter Suicide Prevention Month and For All Seasons urges all citizens to actively work toward the prevention of suicide and to reach out to one another and ASK – “Are you okay?” LISTEN – without judgment, and SHARE – vital resources to promote an inclusive and mentally healthy community.
In the U.S., suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 14 and 25 – 34. In Maryland, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 10 to 34-year-olds. In 2021, 1 in 5 Maryland Mid-Shore teens ages 14 to 17 attempted suicide at least once. These statistics are staggering, and these deaths are often preventable.
Checking in with someone could help save a life. If someone you know is showing signs of depression, withdrawal, or unusual behavior, take time to check-in. Reach out to your circle of friends and family. Be attentive to those whom you have concerns about, and connect them to resources. There are proven treatments to help those with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Someone experiencing a crisis may not recognize that suicidal thoughts are often temporary, and with professional support, hope and healing are within their reach.
ASK “Are you OK? Are you having suicidal thoughts?” Be direct and compassionate. Research shows that asking this question will not put the idea into someone’s mind.
SHARE “You are not alone. Help is available.” Connect them to services. For All Seasons is just a phone call away.
LISTEN You don’t need to have all the answers. Be fully present without judgment. Allow the person to share their story.
Staying socially connected and having strong, supportive relationships can increase one’s sense of meaning and belonging and protect against suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Everyone needs connection, and the good news is there is more than one way to create bonds with others. The image below outlines the many people and places where connections can be found. How will you create connections for your own benefit and to support those in your circle?
Most importantly, if you need suicide prevention resources and a step-by-step conversation guide visit: NoMatterWhatYouMatter.org. For All Seasons’ 24-Hour Crisis Hotlines are English 410.820.5600 and Español 410.829.6143. English/Español Text is 410.829.6143. For the National Suicide & Crisis Hotline: Dial 988.
For All Seasons provides the highest quality mental health and victim services to children, adults, and families across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Services are offered in both English and Spanish and include therapy, psychiatry, victim advocacy, 24-hour crisis hotlines, outreach, and community education. For information about For All Seasons walk-in hours, contact For All Seasons at 410-822-1018 or visit ForAllSeasonsInc.org.