The month of September draws attention to the very important topic of suicide, which is the second-leading cause of death among young adults. Struggling with suicide or self-harm is an extremely difficult experience, but is not one that you have to go through alone.
An important aspect of suicide prevention is staying connected with others and with resources. Connection allows for individuals to build interpersonal relationships, find areas of support, acquire useful knowledge, and create a meaningful life. Connecting can mean a number of things to each individual and can be done in several ways.
Ways to Stay Connected
CONNECTING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Friends and family are often great resources of support and strengthening these relationships can make a huge difference in anyone’s life. Staying connected with friend and family is likely to better one’s mood, increase health, and provide a sense of purpose.
Initiating social activities is a wonderful way to stay connected with loved ones. Some activities to consider include:
- Hosting a game night
- Hosting dinner
- Planning or participating in a community based activity (e.g., concerts, art shows, fundraising or charity event, food festivals, skills training events, etc.)
- Spending some time in nature (e.g., picnic, going on a walk, hiking, site-seeing, swimming, etc.)
- Starting a new hobby together
- Going out for coffee
The list can go on and on. By finding activities that work best for you and your relationships, you then can begin strengthening your support systems. Having strong interpersonal relationships opens the door for important-and many times vulnerable-conversation to take place, which makes these individuals great people to go to when times get tough.
With that being said, it is also important to keep in mind that geographical or spatial closeness is not required to maintain these relationships. With the recent rise of technological advances, calling, texting, and video chatting are also effective ways to stay in touch with loved ones and to strengthen your relationships.
CONNECTING WITH PUBLIC RESOURCES
Finding support does not just have to consist or personal connections, but can also take place with reaching out to public or community resources. A number of 24/7 crisis hotlines and websites exist for individuals to use.
- The hotline 988 is the suicide and crisis hotline that is accessible for all individuals. To utilize the hotline, call or text 988 to speak to a professional. You can also visit the Lifeline website for any other additional information.
- The Crisis Text Line connects you with a crisis counselor. To connect, text TALK to 741-741 or visit their website for additional information.
- More resources and hotlines can be found at American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
CONNECTING WITH THERAPEUTIC RESOURCES
Talk therapy is a common resource used by the public. For those suffering from self-harm or thoughts of suicide, talk therapy can help provide a safe space where processing can take place and skills can be learned to create a life worth living. According to one study, individuals that attend therapy for one year are 27% less likely to attempt suicide. This goes to show how much of a difference can be made by reaching out to a mental health professional.
At Heartland Therapy Connection, our team consists of trained mental health professionals who understand the difficulty of living with self-harm tendencies and thoughts of suicide. Our hope is to help provide individuals with the support, resources, and skills to help them create a life full of quality and value. For more information or to schedule an appointment, feel free to visit our website, call 816-287-0252, or email
In all, you are not alone in your struggles. By staying connected with others and using available resources, we hope that you begin to see positive change throughout your life.