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Suicide Prevention Week September 4 to 10

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The National Suicide Prevention Week is September 4 through 10, and is scheduled to be proclaimed in Buffalo at Tuesday’s Buffalo City Council meeting.

Locally, the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition has chosen as their theme “Be the 1 To,” which is a call to action that everyone can take when they see someone in emotional pain or distress.

That’s according to Bill Hawley, Community Prevention Manager and Suicide Prevention Specialist at Johnson County Public Health.

He said there are five action steps that community members can take when they find someone in pain or distress, which are Ask, Keep Them Safe, Be There, Help Them Connect, and Stay Connected.

Hawley also wanted to announce that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number has been simplified to only require dialing 9*8*8 and is now called the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

More information on the five action steps is listed below.

BE THE 1 TO:

1. ASK:

“Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies

show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides

or suicidal thoughts.

2. KEEP THEM SAFE:

Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important

part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person

has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.

3. BE THERE:

Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research

suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than

increase suicidal thoughts.

4. HELP THEM CONNECT:

Save the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number (call or text 988) and the Crisis Text

Line number (741741) in your phone so they’re there if you need them. You can

also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend,

spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.

5. STAY CONNECTED:

Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a

difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when

someone follows up with the at-risk person.



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