#BeThere: Uniting to Raise Awareness and Education about Suicide Prevention

Staff Writer

During National Suicide Prevention Week – September 9-15, 2018 - The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership of over 250 partner organizations, is uniting with existing campaigns and its partners to educate the public about actions that can help save lives in their communities. A national public opinion poll revealed that almost 50% of respondents found barriers to helping someone at risk for suicide, including the fear of saying something that would make things worse and not knowing how to help. (http://suicidepreventionmessaging.org/framework/background-research/publ...)

The Action Alliance has convened over eighty partners across the country to help share educational resources this week. Using the hashtag #BeThere, the campaign works with initiatives such as #BeThe1To and Take 5 To Save Lives. The Take 5 To Save Lives campaign encourages taking 5 minutes to learn 5 actions: Learn the Signs, Do Your Part, Practice Self-Care, Reach Out, and Spread the Word (more information here: https://www.take5tosavelives.org/). In a climate where more people die from suicide than murder and war combined (https://www.take5tosavelives.org/) and where taking a moment to talk honestly with someone at risk can make a big impact, organizations are working hard to create a widespread message to the public: that you can help; you can save a life.

The #BeThe1To campaign shares stories of action on their website (http://www.bethe1to.com/stories/) highlighting ways in which people around the nation are working to connect with one another across the stigma of mental health and suicide. The National Institute of Mental Health provides information about warning signs and action steps for helping someone in emotional pain: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2018/suicide-how-you-can-make....

The Vermont Suicide Prevention Center is posting these resources and more all week on our website (www.vtspc.org) and on our Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/VTSuicidePrevention/). Please follow along and share with your community.

If you are feeling suicidal or are concerned about someone else, help is available from a number of resources. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text VT to 741741 for the Vermont Crisis Text Line service, dial 2-1-1 to locate your local mental health agency, or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org to text/chat.

You can support the work of the VT Suicide Prevention Center by visiting www.vtspc.org.