As we begin the month of September, it is a time to remember this is suicide awareness month. Like other months designated to increasing awareness of specific topics, these reminders are really designed to encourage us to be aware of these topics all year round.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young adults. It is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in the U.S. We have been living with the concern of a virus killing us or our loved ones. And there should be precautions and concerns. But suicide is taking many lives each day. The silence and the stigma around mental illness and suicide is crippling. Individuals are suffering in silence with a feeling of hopelessness and loneliness. This despair leads someone to believe the only answer for relief is to end their life. Depression and anxiety by nature lies to us and distort our thinking.

So, what can we do?
I believe increasing our awareness and education on the factors that lead to suicide can help.
Taking care of ourselves, so that we will be able to be present for others to share kindness and give hope is another step.
Ask individuals how they are genuinely doing in a caring and compassionate way is key.
And, knowing the resources to contact when someone is struggling in the darkness and having the courage to say something is essential.

Together, we can prevent suicide.
Choose to be the Light in other’s darkness.