Stigma: Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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stigmaStigma is a tremendous roadblock to addiction and mental health recovery. The ideas that people have about those living with mental illness and substance use disorders are often harmful. They force men and women to suffer in silence; as a result, such individuals are at risk of significant harm.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month! During this time, we all must work together to end the stigma of addiction and mental health disorders. When people’s conditions are left untreated, they are susceptible to negative thoughts and suicidal ideations.

Even though mental illness is treatable, only 43.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2018, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Together, we can encourage a higher number of individuals to seek assistance and begin leading lives in recovery.

Curing stigma is not easy; misconceptions about mental disease is firmly embedded into the fabric of society. Even though one in five Americans battles mental illness, most who suffer do so thinking they are alone. If we can encourage members of society to exercise compassion for their friends and neighbors, then we can effect change. During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) asks for our help in reaching out to those affected by suicide.

Together, we can raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. There are numerous ways that you can help promote awareness this month.

Curing Stigma and Talking About Mental Illness

NAMI provides several resources to help you get the message out about mental health, treatment, and recovery. If you have a social media account, you can share facts and awareness graphics using the hashtags #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree.

The purpose of sharing information is to encourage more people to have conversations about mental health and the benefits of treatment. The organization points out that just one conversation can change a life.

People struggling with mental illness, whether it’s depression or a substance use disorder or both, need to know that they are not alone. Those who are in recovery can help encourage and support others with similar experiences. NAMI offers two platforms for sharing your experience with mental illness and recovery.

The gains you’ve made through seeking treatment and working a program of recovery can inspire others to make similar choices. You Are Not Alone and OK2Talk are two platforms that allow for anonymous public postings about the above subjects. People who read your story might find courage from your words and reach out for support.

“You have an authentic voice. You can make a difference for yourself and others by sharing your experiences and perspective. What has helped? What hasn’t? What has been most discouraging about your condition? What has given you hope? There are all sorts of things you know that other people want to know—you are not alone. Let them know that they aren’t either.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34, according to the National Institute on Mental Health. Let’s work together to change that startling statistic.

Colorado Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

At NorthStar Transitions, we can help you or a loved one take steps toward making lasting changes. Our team of dedicated specialists teaches clients how to cope with their symptoms of mental illness. Long-term recovery is possible for everyone; please contact us today to learn more about the NorthStar difference.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, then please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.