Emergency Contacts, Lifelines, and Suicide Prevention Information and Resources

Suicide statistics in the U.S.

• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. (CDC)

• Everyday, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

• There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes. (CDC)

• Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)

• Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year. (CDC)

• Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)

• 80%-90% of people who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and or medication. (TADS study)

• An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors. (AAS)

Resource:
https://save.org/about-suicide/suicide-facts/

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2017:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).

Resource:
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

No suicide attempt should be dismissed or taken lightly.


Why do people attempt suicide?

“A suicide attempt is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. No matter the race or age of the person; how rich or poor they are, it is true that most people who die by suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying disorder is depression, 30% to 70% of suicide victims suffer from major depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.”

Resource:
https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/suicide


Do you know what to do if you think that someone is considering suicide?

If You Think Someone Is Considering Suicide:

• Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble.

• Talk with the person about your concerns. Communication needs to include LISTENING.

* Listen to understand. *

You don’t have to know all of the answers or even some of the answers, just being with a person can be powerful.

• Ask direct questions without being judgmental. Determine if the person has a specific plan to carry out the suicide. The more detailed the plan, the greater the risk.

• Get professional help, even if the person resists.

• Do not leave the person alone.

• Do not swear to secrecy.

• Do not act shocked or judgmental.

• Do not counsel the person yourself.

Resource:
https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/suicide


List of national emergency resources for suicide prevention, substance abuse disaster distress, domestic violence, child abuse, adult and elderly abuse

Finish Stronger Counseling – Emergency Contacts and Lifelines

* Please note that this list may be subject to change as organizations, companies, and government update their websites and other information. *


Check out these charities and articles to find out how you can help

Charity Navigator


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Very Well Mind – Leading Mental Health Charities and Organizations


The Recovery Village – Mental Health First Aid for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors


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Ideas to Raise Awareness and Funds for Mental Illness

Awareness is great,

but taking action is ESSENTIAL.

Why is Raising Awareness for Mental Health Important?

Raising awareness is important because it becomes easier to identify mental illness, which leads to faster treatment, which then leads to better treatment results. One out of four people suffer from a mental illness, and it impacts EVERYONE, not just the person with the illness! This includes our family, friends and close community members. This is why it is important that we work together to raise awareness and break the stigma of mental illness.

By becoming more aware and knowledgeable of mental health, we can break the stigma, and mental illness might become easier to understand. Breaking the stigma means that we would be shifting negative misconceptions and behaviors of the community towards the positive side. Knowledge and taking appropriate actions towards accepting people struggling with a mental illness would make a HUGE difference.

Raising awareness for mental health is a PRIORITY because there is a high demand.

Read more about the importance of raising awareness here


Raising Awareness and Funds Ideas

  • Use artwork to spread the word: Graffiti party; make a sign for your yard; hang a poster for in the window of your house; hang a paper in your classroom; paint rocks and place them around the neighborhood or local park; use chalk to create messages on the sidewalk; yarn bombing; etc.
  • Create an athletic event: Local homerun derby; a race; a bowling tournament; cycle or run across your state or country; corn hole tournament; potato sack race; CrossFit or weightlifting competition; pushup competition; hiking event; golf tournament; frisbee golf tournament; triathlon; obstacle course race; etc.
  • Community: Neighborhood or church cookout; BINGO night; go kart race; school fair; school play; put on a concert; cinema night; plant a garden; dedicate a bench in memory of someone who passed away; scavenger hunt; hold a dinner and have a guest speaker; kite flying event; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.

    Use your talent and creativity, the sky is the limit!

    Get involved with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

    • Plan an in-person fundraising event for your community.
    • Celebrate a milestone, special occasion or holiday by supporting NAMI in lieu of gifts.
    • Design your own online campaign to raise awareness and support NAMI.
    • Create a memorial page for a loved one you’ve lost as a meaningful, lasting tribute.
    • Undertake a physical challenge and keep yourself motivated by supporting NAMI.

    Additional Ideas on Taking Action

    Anxiety and Depression Association of America

  • Share your story, project (school projects, too!) or fundraiser. Visit the “Understand the Facts” section to learn more about anxiety, depression and other co-occurring and related mental health illnesses. Become a member of their online member community.

  • Article from Verywell that covers information on the leading mental health charities and organizations.

  • Learn how to be an advocate. Mental Health America National Institute of Mental Health, which is dedicated to clinical research, and they have free brochures, booklets and e-books that can help educate the public. National Alliance on Mental Health American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Child Mind Institute. This organization is an invaluable resource to parents. https://childmind.org/ Other resources

  • 5 ways to raise awareness during May (mental health month).

  • Take to social media to inspire others to get involved. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Use these hashtags to reach a larger audience: #MentalHealthMatters #MentalHealthAwareness #EndTheStigma #MentalHealthMonth #MHM #StigmaFree #IntoMentalHealth
  • Encourage others to share your posts
  • Encourage open communication
  • Share screening tools
  • Contact your legislators
  • Support advocacy efforts
  • For more details, follow the link

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • How to get involved and become a leader.
  • NAMI Walk
  • Become a fundraiser
  • Attend a NAMI National Convention
  • Pledge to be stigma free
  • Awareness events
  • Partner with NAMI
  • Share your story
  • More! NAMI is awesome

  • GoFundMe tips on making a larger impact with your fundraiser.

  • Mental health fundraising
  • Expand your knowledge
  • Start a conversation
  • Craft care packages
  • Share your story
  • Go social
  • Host a community-wide fundraising event
  • Go to the website to learn more details and to create a mental health fundraiser.
  • Visit their other resources.
  • Mental health fundraising spreads joy and positivity.

    Physical Challenges

    Mental Health America’s #4Mind4Body Challenge

  • This is such a cool challenge.
  • Something for everyday in the month of May.
  • It will positively impact your life… and maybe even those around you.
  • Learn about #MindfulMonday #TastyTuesday #WorkplaceWednesday #ThoughtfulThursday #FitnessFriday #StressFreeSaturday #SleepWellSunday
  • Mental and physical wellness; eating; mindfulness; anxiety triggers; sleep; motivation; gratitude; brain; inspiration; celebration; thoughtfulness.

  • Pushup Challenge

    I took on the 25 Pushups for 25 Days Challenge to raise awareness for mental health and suicide (including suicide prevention), you can read about how to do the challenge here and also watch my pushup videos.

    View my Pushup Challenge on YouTube. The video contains statistics on mental health and suicide

    Walks

    MentalHelp.net An American Addictions Center Resource’s fun ways to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

  • NAMI Walks
  • Out of the Darkness Walks
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • I Rock the Walk for Mental Health Awareness, Active.com group.

  • NAMI Walks

  • A National Day of Hope
  • Tools and resources to magnify your efforts.
  • There are THOUSANDS of participants and MILLIONS of dollars raised.

  • More Organizations to Visit

    REHABSPOT

  • Substance use can be a roadblock for many people.
  • Free self-help resource about drugs, alcohol, addiction, and recovery.
  • The benefits of rehab and about services.

  • Charity Navigator Your Guide to Intelligent Giving

  • Disasters and natural disaster support
  • COVID-19 top nonprofits
  • Humanitarian and civil rights
  • Protecting the environment
  • Thank you for your efforts.

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    3 Mindful Strategies to Increase Positivity During Hard Times

    Limit Exposure

    • Limit the time you’re exposed to the situation. Be informed, but limit the amount of news, media, social media, that you take in. For social media, you can choose to follow and unfollow certain accounts and channels. Use social media to build yourself up, promote positivity, and connect with non-toxic people. Social media is a fantastic tool when used this way.

    Practice reframing thoughts

    • Reframe your negative and distorted thoughts. Read about cognitive reframing here. To begin dealing with negative thoughts, we must recognize when we have one. Next, is to identify what triggered the emotion. Our thoughts and emotions are linked. Notice whether you are ignoring, minimizing, or exaggerating the situation. Challenge your thoughts, be curious about them. Keep in mind that thoughts are just thoughts and not fact. The final step is to reframe. Rewrite the thought so that it is no longer negative, personal, permanent, and pervasive. With the practice of reframing our thoughts, over time, positive thinking becomes a biproduct.

    Allow yourself to feel peace

    • Let peace begin with you. What can you do or think that makes you feel peaceful? A few ways to begin feeling peaceful may include, guided meditation, going for a hike or walk, drawing, working on a puzzle, journaling, etc. Allow yourself to feel peace and notice what it feels like.

    Limiting exposure to news and social media, reframing thoughts, and finding peace are 3 mindful ways to increase positivity, but there are other paths out there, as well. Participate in 2 to 3 mindful activities for a few weeks or a month to see what you enjoy. Build a mindfulness skillset to use during hard times.

    If you would like to work on this with someone, reach out to a professional counselor who can help.

    Would you like some positive affirmations? Visit a past article, Positive Affirmations to get through a Crisis or Difficult Time and download my free sheet.

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    Live Now

    One way to lift your spirits (taken from the book High Hopes by Patrick Lindsay)

    ‘Live Now’
    Refuse to let time dictate your day. Lose track of it. Immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing. Surrender yourself to the activity. Commit your full attention. Notice the difference.” ~ Patrick Lindsay

    “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.” ~ Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778)

    Learn about the book here.

    Idea for if you work with teens

    Years ago, I worked with teens at an inpatient home as a milieu counselor. I did this for two years. We had a big white board and I would pull something appropriate from High Hopes and write it on the board. The teens enjoyed that and would sometimes write it in their journal or decorate around it using dry erase markers.

    If you work with teens, I have found that this gentle approach to engaging with teens is easy and can be inspiring. Some days, something I would write seemed to spark people who appeared to be really struggling, as I’d catch them looking at the board and writing in their journal. Occasionally, I observed a boost in positive emotions and peer interactions following.

    You don’t have to use this book, there are plenty of good books to pull inspiration from and share with others. I do prefer this method over looking up quotes online. Quotes online seem to repeat themselves and you don’t always know the credibility or who said what. High Hopes is a small book, so it fit in my full bag that I’d take into work.

    I hope that this article inspired you.

    Be well.

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    Finding Affordable Mental Health Counseling

    You can find the right outpatient private practice counselor for you at an affordable rate, you just need to know how to go about doing so.

    Almost everyone shops around looking for the right counselor who either accepts their insurance or that they can afford to see if they pay out-of-pocket. A breakdown in the process of seeking help occurs when someone finds out that the counselor doesn’t accept their insurance or their rate isn’t within their out-of-pocket budget, the person tends to cutoff the conversation right there. They hang up the phone or don’t reply to the email. Unfortunately, people will fully end their search because they aren’t sure what else there is to do.

    Remain hopeful

    There are alternative and proactive ways to maintaining the conversation when you find out that the counselor doesn’t accept insurance or the rate isn’t within budget. Ask questions.

    Ask the counselor these questions

    * Even if you want to use your insurance, keep your options open by considering out-of-pocket because part of your goal is to find a counselor who is the right fit to work with. Therapy can be a great experience with the right professional… laughter is allowed in therapy. When someone closes off the out-of-pocket option, they’re also possibly preventing finding the person who they feel comfortable talking to. *

    • Do you offer a lower rate?

    • Do you offer a sliding scale?

    • Do you offer pro-bono?

    • Can you recommend anyone who may be able to help?

    • Do you offer other services that might be able to help me?

    Counselors are open and willing to talk about fees and other services. They aim to be non-judgmental and want to meet people where they are at. It doesn’t hurt to find out if they are able to meet you where you’re at financially.

    Keep on the lookout for free resources and tips that the counselor may offer. This could be an educational social media page, YouTube channel, blog that you could subscribe to, or ebook. Don’t pass up free resources, take advantage.

    Tip: stay organized

    Keep track of who you talked to, how to contact them, the questions you have, and their answers all in a notebook. Doing this will manage stress and remembering who said or offered what. Be mindful of where you keep your notebook to protect your confidentiality.

    Article on How to Find the Right Counselor

    Did somebody say free?

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    New Mental Health Books and Resources (for mental health professionals)

    I ordered a few card decks and workbooks to grow my practice from PESI.

    Do you use any of these? What’s your favorite or go-to worksheet?

    Watch my unboxing video below.

    Books & Resources

    Train Your Brain Card Deck by Dr. Jennifer Sweeton


    The Body Positivity Card Deck by Judith Matz, LCSW, ACSW & Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW, CCTP-II


    ACT with Anxiety by Richard Sears, PsyD, PhD, MBA, ABPP


    Somatic Psychotherapy Toolbox by Manuela Mischke-Reeds, MA, LMFT


    The Miscarriage Map Workbook by Sunita Osborn, PsyD

    These valuable resources will be well-studied and used. And marked with sticky notes!

    I’m feeling excited about diving into these, though I still have to finish reading the previous books that I purchased… I buy more resources than I have time to go through them because I’m so busy, but I’ll get around to it. Do you do this, as well?

    I enjoy our profession.

    I hope you’re doing well!

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    How to Find the Right Counselor

    It can be challenging and anxiety provoking to find the right counselor. Sometimes it’s difficult knowing how to find the help that you specifically need. This article’s tips will answer some questions, help develop a plan, relieve stress, and lead you to finding the right counselor.

    Licensed Professional Counselors

    A licensed professional counselor works with people in most areas of life: Reducing anxiety; coping; adjusting to changes; dealing with depression and grief; overcoming trauma; fighting addiction; educating people about mental illnesses; family, marriage, and couples issues; relationships and communication; mental health disorders.

    When choosing a counselor, look for someone who seems like they would be a good “fit”

    Specialties

    Look at the counselor’s specialties, they should be mentioned or listed on the counselor’s profile and website.

    Examples:

    • If you need help taking steps fighting an addiction, look for someone who specializes in addiction counseling.

    • If you are going through a divorce, find someone who specializes in marriage and divorce.

    • If you’re looking for Christian faith-based counseling, try searching in an online Christian counselor directory if you aren’t sure where the local Christian counselors are.

    Approach to Therapy / Theoretical Orientation

    Check out the counselor’s approach to therapy and the theories they apply.

    Examples:

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Person-Centered
    • Gestalt

    Some counselors use a variety and combination of these. Don’t stress on knowing the methods and theories, the counselor can teach you if you’d like to learn. Having a basic understanding that these theories are out there can lend a hand in making a decision about who you see. Certain theories are more appropriate than others when treating certain mental illnesses, the counselor will know these details.

    When Using Health Insurance

    If you want to use insurance to cover the cost, contact them and inquire about behavioral mental health providers in your area. Find out what your co-pay is. If you’re seeking a teletherapist, check to make sure your insurance covers teletherapy (again, check to see if there’s a co-pay because virtual mental health services might cost different than in-office services.). Once you contact a counselor, double check that they accept your insurance.

    Find a Counselor Through an Online Directory

    Another way to find a counselor is to check online directories. Some of these directories allow you to filter, which saves time and helps you find a counselor who better suits your needs. Psychology Today is a fantastic place to search for a counselor. TherapyDen is also an awesome site to look at. If you’re looking for a counselor who is plant-based or vegan, try Plant-Based Doctors. Using an online directory is a great way to find exactly what you’re looking for.

    Create a List of Counselors and Questions

    When you find a counselor that you’re interested in working with, write down their contact information and website. Create a list of five or so counselors and then visit their websites to learn more about them. As you learn more, you may realize that they don’t quite fit your needs, so you can cross them off your list. Jot down any questions that you may have for that counselor about their services.

    Learn About the Counselor Through Social Media

    You can learn a lot about a counselor’s approach, views, theoretical orientation, personality, vibe, etc, through their business’ social media page and blogs. Check out what they post and write about. Look for pictures of their office, sometimes there are pictures to make clients feel more comfortable in knowing what to expect.

    Contacting the Counselor

    Whether you’re contacting them through email or a phone call, make sure that you’re in a private space so that your confidentiality won’t be at risk when you share with them a little about what you are seeking help for. Sharing a few sensitive details helps the counselor determine whether they can help you or if they need to lead you to other services.

    After learning more about the counselors, call them to have your questions answered or to schedule an appointment. I can’t speak for every counselor, but most offer a free phone consultation. Ask about whether they accept insurance and the cost of session. Ask about what you can expect during a session. Ask about the paperwork process. Ask any other questions that come to mind and that you wrote on your list.

    If you’re having difficulty reaching a counselor by calling, consider emailing them. Counselors should have their emails set up safe and secure. Texting a counselor’s phone isn’t secure, so don’t use that method of contact.

    Notice Thoughts, Feelings, & Gut Instinct

    When you’re talking with the counselor on the phone, briefly check-in with your thoughts, feelings, and gut instinct. Are you comfortable? Do you see yourself sitting across from them? Is your gut feeling telling you that this is the right person? The gut instinct is usually accurate.

    Ask Friends and Family

    To get a better idea about what to look for in a counselor, ask your friends and family who are seeing one what they like about them. This isn’t a good way to get a referral, but it can give you an idea on counselor personality, traits, and practices to look for.

    It can be tough finding the right counselor, but using these tips to create a simple plan will make it easier.

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