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SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH
Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition.
Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: a time to raise awareness of this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. This month is dedicated to ensuring that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.
In District 60, we boast a strong threat assessment process that helps us gauge the likelihood of a student harming themselves or others during emergency situations.
For a student experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, a first step is to speak with the school counselor, who can offer support and explain available resources.
We also utilize “Sources of Strength” suicide prevention and peer counseling groups to engage with vulnerable students dealing with thoughts of self-harm and harming others.
The program addresses the role that exposure to violence, bullying and substance abuse play in contributing to thoughts of suicide and self-harm.
“Sources of Strength” has helped empower students by connecting them with their peers and caring adults to openly address their personal struggles through the power of connection, hope, help and strength.
The District boasts partnerships with State of Grace Counseling (569-7909) and Health Solutions (545-2746) and also advocates use of Safe2Tell -- 1-877-542-SAFE, safe2tell.org – an anonymous reporting system that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Nationally, the rollout of 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is credited with saving more than 150,000 lives in a single month.
The initiative has been in the works for years, but the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finally launched the new number on July 16, replacing the old 10-digit number, 1-800-273-8255.
Those in crisis also can use the Crisis Text Line -- text HOME to 741741 to connect with counselors at any time – contact Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners (1-844-492-8255) or call 911.
A more thorough list of available resources can be found here: https://bit.ly/3Ls6YKD