If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call or text 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat live at 988lifeline.org. If you’re in Kansas or Missouri, you can call Camber Children’s Mental Health at 913-890-7468 to find children’s psychiatric treatment near you.
At this time, many of us know someone who is at risk, who has attempted or who has struggled with thoughts of suicide. Whether it’s a close loved one or someone in our community, it’s a heartbreaking reality. The current mental health crisis is impacting more of us than ever. And sometimes, it’s hard to know what to do and how to help.
The CDC reports that suicide rates increased 30% from 2000 to 2018. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that in 2020, suicide was the twelfth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 45,900 people. Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals ages 10-14 and 25-34, the third leading cause among those 15-24 and the fourth leading cause among those 35-44. There were nearly two times as many suicides in the United States as homicides.
Being proactive can make a tremendous difference in lessening the risk of suicide for those you know and love. At KVC, we understand the importance of suicide awareness and taking action to support those who may be struggling around you.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and we’re sharing some crucial suicide resources that can help you reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and become part of a support system that makes a difference.
KVC Resources on Suicide Awareness & Support
How to Approach Mental Health:
- Practical Tips for Talking About Mental Health: How do you start a conversation about mental health with a child? Get tips on approaching the subject and healthy practices to improve mental health. The greater your family’s understanding of mental health, the greater your ability to help those around you navigate challenges.
- How To Strengthen and Support a Child’s Mental Health: When you teach children the skills they need to uplift their mental health, you equip them with tools they can use throughout their lives.
- 15 Empowering Books About Mental Health for Kids and Adults: Explore mental health with the experts by reading more about it. You’ll find helpful books to approach complex topics with kids and teens. Digging into these topics can be a practical way to learn life-saving strategies.
- How to Fill Your Family Mental Health Toolkit: Cultivate the tools and habits your family needs to maintain positive mental health. Establishing these practices from the beginning can prevent mental health challenges from reaching a dangerous peak. As a parent or caregiver models mental health wellness, young people can learn healthy habits by example.
Information and Insights on Suicide Prevention:
- What You Can Do to Prevent Suicide: As challenging as it is to address mental health issues like suicide, you can make a real difference as you increase your awareness and gain helpful tools. In this article, you’ll learn the signs of suicide risk and actions you can take to help.
- Warning Signs of Suicide: With the right information on what warning signs to look for, you may be able to provide support from the beginning of a mental health challenge. If you are concerned about a young person with these warning signs, speaking to a pediatrician or mental health professional can be a helpful next step.
- How to Prevent Suicide Attempts From Over-the-Counter Medications: One of the risk factors for suicide attempts involves over-the-counter medications that may be present in your home. By learning about the safe storage of these potentially dangerous substances, you can further protect the youth in your home environment.
- Support LGBTQIA+ youth: LGBTQIA+ children and teens are statistically more likely to consider suicide. Use these resources to support their mental wellness.
- What You Need to Know About the Suicide Prevention Hotline: Understanding the new 988 suicide prevention hotline can provide parents and caregivers with a helpful resource for those who need immediate support. This nationwide hotline, similar to 911, promises instant access to trained mental health professionals.
Treatment and Support:
- Three Levels of Mental Health Treatment for Children and Teens: What kind of treatment support can you provide for the young people in your life? Depending on the level of difficulties faced, there are different options. Educate yourself on these treatment choices and you may find a beneficial opportunity for those around you.
- Free Mental Health Assessment: Unsure what kind of support your child needs? KVC Health Systems created a free mental health assessment that you can take any time to help you see if additional support is needed.
- What is Psychiatry?: Learning more about why psychiatry is and when it’s useful can aid parents and caregivers in knowing what treatment option will really benefit their child. Before jumping into a potential solution for a young person’s challenge, take the time to understand it and you’re more likely to find the right fit.
- How a Teen Who Attempted Suicide Got Life-Saving Help at Camber (formerly KVC Hospitals): When a psychiatric stay is essential for a young person’s recovery, Camber Children’s Mental Health is here to help. Find out what treatment and recovery look like with our professional help.
Additional Resources Recommended by KVC’s Chief Clinical Officer
Chief Clinical Officer of KVC Health Systems Chad Anderson recommends the following resources to continue your mental health education.
- Healthline’s Suicide Prevention Resource Guide: Many hotlines, online forums, apps and resources are available to support those struggling with suicidal thoughts. By preparing a list of organizations that those thinking about suicide can contact, you can help your loved one find the help they need at the moment they need it.
- The National Institute of Mental Health on Suicide Prevention: Learn more about the risk factors, warning signs and steps you can take to intervene. The “Treatments & Therapies” section provides quality information to help you advocate if you are supporting someone after a suicide attempt.
- Suicide Safety Plan App: This app helps users create a suicide safety plan so if suicidal thoughts arise, there’s a clear path to diminish risk and move forward safely. Hotlines and immediate support are also available through the app.
- Reduce Access to Lethal Means in Your Home: Eliminating easy access to firearms or medications can be critical during a mental health crisis. Learn how to safely secure items in your home to protect those you love.
You can be a beacon of hope and a safe place for support when you’ve gained the tools and resources to support those facing mental health challenges. At KVC, we’re here to provide compassionate treatment for people overwhelmed with mental health struggles. Learn more about our mental health services here.
KVC Health Systems makes a positive difference in the lives of over 70,000 people each year. By providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services and education, we are enriching and enhancing the lives of children and families. We provide compassionate treatment for people struggling with a range of mental health disorders as well as those dealing with the effects of traumatic stress. Learn more about our mental health services in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky and West Virginia. We also provide trauma-informed treatment at our children’s mental health hospitals and residential treatment centers in Kansas and Missouri. Learn more here on our Camber Children’s Mental Health website.