Hey, R U OK? And Other Ways to Help Prevent Suicide

September 10th marks the observation of WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY, this year’s theme being Reaching Out and Saving Lives. The internet will be flooded with yellow ribbons, statistics and ways to be pro-active in the fight to prevent suicide this month, but how can you reach out and save lives every day?


Be there for someone in need.

How would you know if the person next to you is going through something or even needs someone to talk to? Ask them. R U OK? is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring all people to ask ‘are you ok?’ in order to support anyone struggling with life. Visit www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask for easy step-by-steps on how to ask, listen, encourage and follow up. 

Stop watering the stigmas. 

TRUE OR FALSE: Talking about suicide will plant the idea in someone’s head. Someone who considers suicide isn’t willing to consider getting help. Someone who talks about suicide isn’t going to do it. Anyone that commits suicide has a mental illness. ALL FALSE. Don’t shrug off threats, don’t ignore signs of severe depression and/or distress, don’t hold back on speaking to someone about their feelings and encourage them to get help if needed. An estimated one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Educate yourself on the facts and be a ripple of change.

Pass this along.

We hear about the existence of suicide hotlines all the time, but passing those digits along can really save a life. This was all too real for me just last Thanksgiving when my teenage cousin dialed a hotline to speak with someone about attempting to end his suffering. In minutes, his town’s police department was at his doorstep and he was institutionalized until he showed signs of improvement. Today, he is actively working through his depression, has a full-time job and is in a healthy, loving relationship. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Anyone that calls will be connected to a a crisis center in their area where a trained counselor will speak with them and help them find a reason to keep living. 

Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255

Website: suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Other Resources and Lifelines: 

All lives matter. You are never alone - remind someone they aren’t either.