September is National Suicide Awareness Month

We realize that while many of us would do anything in our power to help a friend in trouble, when it comes to talking about suicide, we still find it very difficult. During the month of September we invite you to engage in conversation about suicide in new ways. Learn more, listen more, do more. If you would like information on local opportunites for FREE training and are not sure where to begin, contact Jamie Ritchey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For online information you can find a wealth of information in the 2017 Suicide Prevention toolkit, including information on how to get involved at Each Mind Matters.

During the week of September 10th to th 16th there are activities you can host and plan in your community.

If you are a student and looking for ways to engage other students, check out this activity sheet.

There are several social media posts that you can view and drop in messaging and graphics to your own social media posts during the week. They include messages about how to Ask a friend who may be having thoughts of suicide, how to keep them safe, connect them and follow up. That information can be found at #Bethe1To.

Please join in the effort to save lives. Suicide is preventable. Know the Signs.

Stigma is the Great Silencer

Every day men, women and children, who are suffering from Mental Health challenges, go to great lengths to keep that a secret from others. Fear of what people will say about them keeps them silent. Fear of what people will think of them, and in some cases fear of what people may do to them reinforce the feeling that they are alone and there is no hope.

Stigma Keeps People Isolated

Room4Everyone is a mental wellbeing campaign that encourages compassion and acceptance. As people we are different, but as a community it is critical that there be room for everyone despite those differences.

Its Time To Talk About It

The fact that in any given year One-in-Four Americans meets the criteria for a diagnosable mental illness means that we all know someone who may be suffering. It may be a co-worker, classmate, friend, or family member. One-in-Four means it very well could be one of us. When someone we care for is experiencing mental health challenges, multiple people are affected. For this reason when we talk about mental illness, we are not merely talking to the One-in-Four. This is a conversation that is critical for four out of four people.

Myth vs. Fact

Myth: People with Mental Health problems are dangerous and should be avoided.

Fact: The vast majority of people with Mental Health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are 12 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.

Myth: People with Mental Health needs, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
Fact: People with Mental Health problems are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with Mental Health problems report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.

Myth: There is no hope for people with Mental Health problems. Once a person develops Mental Health problems, he or she will never recover.
Fact: Studies show that people with Mental Health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.

Myth: I can't do anything for a person with a Mental Health problem.
Fact: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 38% of adults with diagnosable Mental Health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

  • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
  • Assisting with access to mental health services
  • Learning and sharing the facts about Mental Health (especially if you hear something that isn't true)
  • Treating others the way you would want them to treat you