September is Suicide Prevention Month in the United States. It is a time where people can come together to grieve the lives we have lost to suicide and focus on the lives we can save. Communities across the country will come together to raise awareness on suicide prevention. There are many things you can do to get involved during Suicide Prevention Month.
Educate: When it comes to suicide prevention, it is beneficial to be educated on things such as the risk factors, warning signs, questions to ask, and resources available. When we know these things, we can look out for friends and also educate others, ultimately saving more lives. If you would like a complete list of this information go to http://www.13minutes.org/.
Social Media: People can also use different hashtags on social media to increase awareness. Many organizations have their own hashtag that can be shared. Some examples include: #BeThe1To (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), #BeThere (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs), #Take5ToSaveLives (National Council on Suicide Prevention), and #RealConvo (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). Many of these hashtags promote awareness and encourage individuals to check in on their friends to make sure they are doing okay. There are also different accounts you can follow on social media. For example, you can follow 13minutes on Twitter and Facebook, which is our suicide prevention campaign focused on knowing the warning signs and how to have the conversation. If you are on social media I would encourage you to use the hashtags mentioned above and also like, share, and follow different suicide prevention accounts.
Donate: There are many suicide prevention campaigns and organizations you can donate to at any time. Whether you would like to donate financially or even your time, either one would make a big difference.
Out of the Darkness Walks: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has multiple “Out of the Darkness Walks” which focuses on awareness and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. There are walks you can participate in throughout the year, but also many throughout the month of September. For those of us in Omaha, we can participate in the one happening on Sunday, September 8th. To register go to http://www.afsp.org/.
These are just a few ways you can get involved during the month of September, but there are many other options as well! Together we can make a difference in each and every one of our communities!
Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.