Suicide Prevention Week, September 8th – 14th
September 8th – 14th is Suicide Prevention Week! Many of our supporters know about our Support Groups, our annual Save-A-Life Walk, and our Annual SOSL Day, but many of you do not know that SOSL is also very active in suicide prevention as well. As survivors, many of us want to help with prevention so nobody else has to experience the pain that we’ve endured in losing a loved one to suicide.
Part of SOSL’s mission is to “educate the community about the prevention of suicide.” We do this through our Speakers Bureau, Community Outreach, and by being active members of the Suicide Prevention Council, a San Diego collaborative.
(Learn more about our Speakers Bureau here: https://www.soslsd.org/about-prior/speakers-bureau/)
Talking about or learning about prevention can be difficult for many of us who have lost a loved one to suicide. For some, learning about the warning signs gives us a 20/20 vision of how our loved one was acting or living before they died. It can also bring up thoughts we struggle with, like “if I had known,” “I should have seen this,” or the questions of “what if I had done more?” These thoughts and questions are a normal part of dealing with the grief associated with suicide loss. While it may be “normal,” that does not make it any less challenging to handle these thoughts. In time, many survivors realize that there was nothing they could have done to prevent the suicide. For others, many survivors learn to live with the unanswered questions, the “what ifs,” and learn to accept that what has happened cannot be changed.
The only thing we can do is arm ourselves with as much knowledge as possible. We should know the Warning Signs, we should not be afraid to directly ask someone if they are thinking about suicide, we should not be afraid to stand up and speak up. With this knowledge, maybe you can save a life — what a beautiful way to honor your loved one’s memory.
Arm yourself with knowledge – Know the Signs:
Here’s an Easy-to-Remember Mnemonic:
IS PATH WARM?
I – Ideation
S – Substance Abuse
P – Purposelessness
A – Anxiety
T – Trapped
H – Hopelessness
A – Anger
R – Recklessness
M – Mood Changes
A person in acute risk for suicidal behavior most often will show:
Warning Signs of Acute Risk:
These might be remembered as expressed or communicated Ideation. If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-237- TALK (8255) for a referral.
Please feel free to learn more here: https://www.soslsd.org/resources/other-resources/#warning
Or get check out the It’s Up2Us Campaign!
If you want to learn more about suicide prevention, or get involved with SOSL’s suicide prevention efforts, please reach out to us! We’re here to help, educate, and help you get involved!