Suicide is a prevalent and growing problem in the United States and many other nations. Every year in November, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is an opportunity to promote awareness and offer support to those who have lost loved ones.
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What Is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day?
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (which is also sometimes referred to simply as Survivor Day) is an annual observance that is dedicated to supporting the loved ones of individuals who died by suicide.
The effort to create this annual observance was spearheaded by Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who introduced a Senate resolution in 1999 that led to the creation of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. This day had personal significance to Reid, as his father had died by suicide in 1972.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) manages a searchable list of Survivor Day events. When this post was written, this list included 301 events across the United States and throughout the rest of the world.
When Is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day?
In recognition of the fact that the holiday season can be a difficult time for those who have lost loved ones to suicide, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is held every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in the United States.
This year, this means that International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is Saturday, Nov. 18.
Why Is it Important to Bring Awareness for the Survivors of Suicide Loss?
Experts often refer to suicide as a “silent epidemic.”
Though more than 48,000 people in the U.S. died by suicide in each of the past two years, many people are hesitant to acknowledge the scope of the problem or even discuss the factors that put so many people at risk.
Persistent stigma and unfounded shame may contribute to this mindset. But no matter the reason, failing to discuss suicide can prevent people from getting the help they need. It can also deny the survivors of suicide loss the opportunity to find solace and support by connecting with others who have also lost loved ones.
When you create awareness of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, you play a role in the effort to eradicate stigma, prevent future deaths, and create a more compassionate world for those whose lives have been impacted by suicide.
How Can You Help Bring Awareness to International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day?
There are many ways to participate in International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day and increase awareness of this important topic. Here are three suggestions:
- Attend a Survivor Day event in person or online.
- Post suicide awareness information on your social media accounts.
- Continue to educate yourself about suicide prevention, so you can promote increased awareness all year long.
To help you spread the word about Survivor Day, here’s a graphic that we encourage you to save and share:
Resources to Help Those Who Are Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts
If you or someone that you care about has been having thoughts of suicide, please know that help is available.
First, if you believe that you or your loved one is in imminent danger of suicide, please get help immediately Contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, call 911, or go to a local emergency room.
To get additional information about risk factors, warning signs, and treatment options for suicidal ideation, the following resources can help:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Suicide Prevention Page
- The Jason Foundation (Youth Suicide Awareness & Prevention)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-California) Suicide Prevention Page
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Suicide Prevention Page
What to Do if You Need Help for Suicidal Thoughts
As we mentioned in the previous section, if you fear that you are in imminent danger of attempting to end your life, please get help immediately.
- If you are in the United States, you can reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or sending a text message to 988 from any phone.
- You can also access this service online at https://988lifeline.org.
- The Lifeline is staffed 24/7 by trained professionals who can assess your needs and connect you with appropriate resources near you.
If you have been experiencing thoughts of suicide, but you are not at risk for acting on them in the immediate future, you should schedule a session with a counselor, therapist, or other qualified mental health provider. This professional can help you explore the possible causes for these thoughts and recommend treatment options that align with your needs.
It is also important to resist any urges to isolate yourself from family or friends. When you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you may mistakenly believe that you would somehow burden those who are closest to you by reaching out to them. You may also fear that no one else can understand what you are going through, or care enough to help.
This simply isn’t true. Anyone who truly cares about you will never feel burdened by a discussion like this. And simply talking about the problem can be immensely beneficial.
Isolation can exacerbate difficult emotions, while talking about them can take away some of their destructive power. Also, confiding in a close friend or trusted family member can help you gain a different perspective on what you have been feeling, which can help you determine the healthiest steps to take to achieve improved mental health.
Contact Montare Behavioral Health for Inpatient or Outpatient Mental Health Treatment in California
Adults who have been experiencing persistent thoughts of suicide may benefit from mental health treatment at Montare Behavioral Health. We offer individualized care and comprehensive support at several convenient locations throughout Southern California.
Suicidal ideation is often (but not always) a symptom of a mental health disorder. Research has linked depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and several other conditions with an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
At Montare Behavioral Health, adults who have been plagued by suicidal ideation can work with a team of compassionate professionals to identify and address the underlying causes of these distressing thoughts. Depending on the full scope of each patient’s needs, their care may include inpatient, partial hospitalization, and/or intensive outpatient programming. Within all of these levels, we offer an array of therapies and support services that can be customized for each patient.
To learn more about Montare Behavioral Health or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.