Tips to Manage Your Mental Health for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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Sept. 1 marked the beginning of National Suicide Awareness Month, Sept. 5 marked the start of National Suicide Awareness Week and Sept. 10 is World Suicide Awareness Day. 

It’s no secret that college, work and life in general is hard. Sometimes deadlines can pile up and funds can run low. Things can seem dark and lonely, and the end of the tunnel may appear to be so far away. But, there always is an end of the tunnel. There is a light on the other side. It’s just about making it there. 

At Rowan, you are not alone, and here are some ways to help alleviate excessive stress or depression in your life:

Talk it out. Whether it be with a licensed therapist, your best friend or a family member, it’s important to share your thoughts and struggles with others. Talking through what is weighing you down allows others to share your troubles and help you through it. That support may come in the form of brainstorming or just giving you their ear to vent. 

Take a step back. Stable mental health is essential in alleviating suicidal thoughts or actions. Sometimes that means taking a step away from stressors. Focus on taking care of yourself. It may be tempting to try to ignore the problem by filling up your schedule with so many things that you hardly have time to think. This can exacerbate your problems by allowing them to pile up until you find yourself at a breaking point. Intentionally take time to focus on yourself and meet your mental, physical, social, and emotional needs. Put yourself first.

Take a walk. Studies have proven that exercise causes your body to produce higher levels of endorphins. Endorphins lower pain reception and trigger a positive feeling within the body. The best part is any amount of exercise, even just a stroll, can give you these effects. 

Do you know someone who is struggling and you want to help? The Suicide Prevention Lifeline lists a few ways you can help someone with suicidical thoughts. The first step is to ask. Ask them how their day has been or how an important event in their life went. This simple question can serve as a reminder that they have people who love and care about them. The second thing you can do is just be there for them. Allow them to talk to you in a judgement-free environment. Take note as to if they want solutions or just want someone to hear them out. Continue to follow up with the person. Research has shown that people with an ongoing system of support are an important part of suicide prevention. For more information, resources and tips visit www.bethe1to.com.

If you know someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or just want to learn more about how to handle these types of situations, the Wellness Center will be hosting suicide prevention training on October 5 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Chamberlain Student Center. Due to COVID-19 restrictions attendance is limited, so you must reserve your spot on Proflink. 

Finally, if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). 

For comments/questions about this story, tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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