Letter to the Editor: Stop suicide
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a time for each of us to reach out to those around us and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's theme for the month is "Together, we can help #StopSuicide."
After losing my son, Blake, to suicide in February this year I have felt every emotion there is to feel, including despair and complete hopelessness. Suicide is a completely different type of loss. I don't know what or if we could saved Blake, but I think about it all the time. I want to do whatever I can to prevent other families from having to go through this. These groups all want to help do that too and provide support for people grieving a loss from suicide. I have become an advocate for suicide prevention and any help from the public would be greatly appreciated. If we can lower the amount of suicides each year?...Why wouldn't we do even these little things to help?
One action I'm taking this month to help #StopSuicide is contacting my public officials and urging them to prioritize funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and our local crisis call centers. In July 2022, the new 988 number will be fully operational as the universal phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This easy-to-remember three-digit number will increase access to vital mental health and suicide crisis supports. Calls are also projected to increase substantially when the 988 number goes fully live. NOW is the time to provide the funding to support our local crisis centers to meet the needs of more 988 callers.
Together, we can ensure that everyone in crisis has access to care should they need it.
Together, we can help #StopSuicide.
Melissa Skadsem, Mcville, ND