Suicide Awareness all Year Long: Creating Brave Space, Together
September is designated as National Suicide Awareness Month, but suicide needs to be a part of our awareness every month of the year. Suicide rates have been on the rise in every state in the US except Nevada, according to a 2018 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Their research found that the suicide rate increased by more than 30% in half of states from 1999 to 2016. California saw a 14.8% increase in suicide over this time period.
In the poem “Invitation to Brave Space,” Micky ScottBey Jones calls in “brave space,” saying: “There is no such thing as a ‘safe space.’” “Brave space,” for ScottBey is about humility: “the right to start somewhere and continue to grow/the responsibility to examine what we think we know.” ScottBey writes:
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
It will be our brave space together,
We will work on it side by side
All is far from hopeless. The CDC recommended that everyone can “Learn the warning signs of suicide to identify and appropriately respond to people at risk.” We can learn and teach how to better support each other through suicidal thoughts, to create the “brave spaces” to have conversations about suicide and finding support, as well as reasons to live. Here are some resources to help you do that.
- Teach yourself about Intentional Peer Support or join a training!
- A national campaign, Seize the Awkward, encourages young people to check in on each other and offers suggestions for starting tough conversations.
- From the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s #BeThe1To website, here is how to Spread the word about suicide prevention, and show how we can all take action and make an impact in someone’s life:
- Share #BeThe1To’s 5 action steps, as well as resources, tips and messages throughout National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE
Spread the #BeThe1To message on social media by using our plug-and-play Message Kit.
Share the 5-steps by choosing a Graphic Kit from the options below. The Graphic Kits detail the steps to help someone in crisis. Sample messages to accompany the graphics are included in the plug-and-play Message Kit.
Create your own 5-step Graphic Kit using our Customization Guidelines. Submit your kit to be added to this page by emailing it to email@example.com with the subject line “#BeThe1To Custom Kit.”
Send a postcard to thank someone who has “been there” for you during a difficult time.
Download a #BeThe1To poster or two, print them out and hang them up in your communities to spread the word that we can all take action to help prevent suicide.
Donate to your local crisis center, Crisis Support Services of Alameda County.
Know local resources, like this local text line:
TEXT SAFE TO 20121
Hours: 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. 7 days a week. Alameda County residents only
Fees: No charge from Crisis Support Services. Text STOP to opt out.
If you’re hurting, afraid, or need someone to talk to, please reach out to one of the resources below. Someone will reach back. You are so deeply valued, so incomprehensibly loved—even when you can’t feel it—and you are worth your life.
You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and pressing Option 1, the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada), or The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.
If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741. If you’d like to talk to a peer, warmline.org contains links to warmlines in every state. If you’re not in the U.S., click here for a link to crisis centers around the world.