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suicide

How to Raise Awareness About Suicide

suicide

This Sunday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day–which means it’s a day to raise awareness about suicide, and how to help the people around you who may be suffering from suicidal thoughts and ideation.

This is also why public figures and mental health professionals will be hosting a two-hour, commercial-free live broadcast dedicated to suicide awareness on the radio station KISW-FM in Seattle. The show will feature Michael Angelakos from Passion Pit, Jack Antonoff from Bleachers, Sarah Barthel from Phantogram, singer Halseyformer football player LeRoy Butler, rappers Khalid and Logic, and more. They’ll be joined by Dr. Christine Moutier, the chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

In a year where suicide has been on the news often, between Chris Cornell’s death, Chester Bennington’s death, and the controversial Netflix show “13 Reasons Why,” which allegedly prompted a copy-cat suicide, it’s an especially good time to educate kids and teens on suicide and depression–and how to help.

The press release explained that the topics covered will be “how to talk to friends and family about mental health and suicide, what to do if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, how to get involved in suicide prevention in your local community and where to go to learn more about the cause.”

Legendary music producer Bob Ezrin, who worked with acts like KISS, who will also be on the show, talked about the loss of his son, saying, “Since the loss of my oldest son to suicide, mental health and mental illness issues have been very close to my heart. We need to speak openly and honestly about these issues so that it becomes natural for people who are suffering to reach out for help.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Christine Moutier, AFSP Chief Medical Officer, stressed that we all have a role:

“No matter who you are, you have a powerful role to play in preventing suicide. We’re at a point in time where so many people, including celebrities and musicians, have opened up about their experience with mental health or their loss to suicide. That brave act of opening up about mental health challenges has helped to shape the culture. Now it’s time to deepen our knowledge and learn what to do if you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one. The ability each of us has to make people in our lives feel valued can’t be underestimated.”

So, how can you help? Listen and talk. Share the link to the radio show–find ways to prompt a conversation, even if it’s through reading or art–and going from there. It’s especially important to talk about depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation with your family–because it may not always be obvious, as Chester Bennington’s wife only knows too well:

You can live stream the show at Imlistening.orgAlso check out this video The Mighty made from people who’ve attempted suicide before:

This post is part of the Here.Now series, which seeks to destigmatize mental health,

and is made possible by UJA-Federation of New York and The Jewish Board.

You can find other educational mental health resources here.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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