September is National Suicide Awareness Month

By: Diane Watt

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health experts warned of a “perfect storm” consisting of a “tsunami of suicide” (Tandon, 2021, para. 2). After nearly two years of a global pandemic, reports concerning Covid-related suicide rates have varied. Some statistics assert rates have remained consistent the past eighteen months, while others claim a decrease in suicides. Regardless of statistics, however, thoughts of suicide can be a very real experience for some. In these cases, knowing how to react is key. Consider the following quick tips if suicidal thoughts occur:


· Avoid focusing on the future. Rather, try to simply make it through the day. Major decisions (such as suicide) can and should be delayed.


· Engage in distractions. These diversions can include singing, drawing, listening to music, connecting with nature, or caring for a pet.


· Go to a safe place where others are present. For example, spending time in a coffee shop or bookstore can be therapeutic.


· Consider reaching out. Call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.

Thoughts of suicide typically pass. When they do, think about creating a Crisis Box filled with uplifting elements, such as pictures, keepsakes, etc. This way, the Crisis Box can be utilized if suicidal thoughts strike again.


Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for therapy or mental health treatment. Please consult your mental health provider or a medical professional.


Reference

Tandon, R. (2021). COVID-19 and suicide: Just the facts. Key learnings and guidance for action. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 60, 102695. https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.ajp.2021.102695

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