Speaking out on mental health and suicide prevention

By: Kayla Hunt, Columnist

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, meaning all month long people around the world are coming together to promote suicide prevention awareness.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline organization is hosting a social media campaign this month with the hashtag #BeThe1To. The purpose of the campaign is to help spread the word of how we can all take actions to prevent suicide. The organization has a list on their website of ways that people can take part in promoting suicide prevention awareness not just this month, but every day. The organization also provides a list of risk factors and many other resources to help people become more educated on the topic.

Many people have been afraid to speak on their mental health because there has always been an assumption that it was deemed as not serious. However, it seems that the stigma around mental health is beginning to loosen. Many more companies are starting to allow their employees to take mental health days aside from physical health (“sick”) days; this is disseminating the idea that people’s mental and physical health are of equal importance. Also, many institutions are equipping mental health centers, which is beginning to send a message that mental health can require treatment and there should be no shame in that.

At Towson, the Counseling Center provides mental health screenings to help students and inform them on whether or not they may need to reach out to a mental health professional. The Counseling Center provides many resources to students, even to those who may be there on behalf of concerns they have for someone they care about. The center is also providing meditation sessions all semester long as a way to help students cope with stress. More information is given on the Towson University website.

There are many more resources that are becoming available to those who may struggle with their mental health. Everyone should keep themselves informed on the resources and tools around them because it will build a stronger community and increase actions of healing and hope.

 

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