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September is National Suicide Prevention Month

“I think what’s important this month is to encourage open and honest dialogue about how we’re really doing, given the current social climate,” Haden said.
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:01 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and with all of the changes associated with the coronavirus pandemic, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board Behavioral Health and Wellness Coordinator Brandy Haden says it is reasonable to be overwhelmed right now, and many are probably not at their best mentally.

“I think what’s important this month is to encourage open and honest dialogue about how we’re really doing, given the current social climate,” Haden said.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and on average, there are 132 suicides per day.

Haden says the state of Virginia has a suicide prevention program called Lock and Talk, which provides free resources to limit access to lethal means, such as medicine lock boxes and trigger locks for firearms, as well as training on suicide intervention and help for those who are struggling.

“If you can provide a barrier or a buffer between somebody who may be struggling with thoughts or behaviors around suicide, and means by which they would complete the suicide...we save lives,” Haden said.

She continued, saying it is important to acknowledge your emotions, and if you find they impact your ability to work, carry out daily activities and or maintain relationships, you should reach out to someone for help. Haden also emphasized the importance of mental health conversations in the home and encourages people who are not struggling to reach out to those who might be, to create a welcoming and comforting dialogue about the matter.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Crisis Textline at 741741 and text “Hello.”

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