Hope For The Day wants everyone to know that “it’s OK to not be OK,” because millions of people are struggling with mental health without support. Hope for the Day equips people with the right tools to help themselves or others experiencing depression and hopelessness.
The rate of suicide completion in the US has reached a 30 year high. Suicide is a preventable mental health crisis when people have access to the right resources and support. The perceived social and cultural stigma of depression can cause individuals shame and exacerbate the sense of isolation and despair. Too often we do not talk openly about suicide until it is too late. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Hope For The Day is proactively preventing suicide through outreach and mental health education.
Mental health impacts everybody and our quality of life. Mental health can be affected by genetics and life experiences including relationships, trauma and stress. But unlike physical health, it often isn’t noticed or attended to with the same sense of urgency. Embracing open communication about mental health challenges in our communities and providing direction to help is the best way to help others before a crisis arises.
Knowing the warning signs of suicide and self harm include:
- When someone expresses feelings of being trapped, like there is no way out.
- When someone expresses hopelessness or states they have no reason for living.
- When someone withdraws from family, friends, or usual activities they like.
- When someone talks or threatens to hurt or kill themselves.
You can be supportive for others without being a mental health professional. Here’s how:
- LISTEN: Let them really express their experiences.
- DON’T JUDGE. Don’t criticize or minimize the way they feel. You may not be able to understand exactly what they’re going through, and that’s ok.
- ASK WHAT, NOT WHY: Avoid asking ‘why’ questions, which can have a judgmental tone even if you don’t mean it that way. Instead ask ‘what’ questions.
- GIVE INFORMATION – DON’T DIAGNOSE: Don’t make assumptions or jump to conclusions, but do provide direction to resources that can identify and treat mental health issues.
- ACT AS A BRIDGE: You can connect someone to mental health resources. Resources include family, school guidance, mental health professionals, and organizations like HFTD.
- TEAMMATE IN SUPPORT: Being supportive is about being a trusted listener, helping navigate resources, and being encouraging without minimizing their challenges.
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