September is Suicide Prevention Month

Calls related to suicide were up in September, partly due to expanding FirstLink’s suicide follow-up program and partly due to a performance of the song “1-800-273-8255” by the rapper, Logic, at the VMAs towards the end of August. The performance of his song about his struggles with depression, which included suicide attempt survivors on stage wearing shirts with the lifeline phone number, prompted a 50% increase in calls to the lifeline all over the country and increased awareness of suicide prevention.

FirstLink was one of six call centers participating in a study by Columbia University about the effectiveness of suicide follow-up programs in reducing the risk of suicide; the results of the study are highly positive and can be viewed online.

Speaking of Suicide…

Have you heard the myth that a person’s suicide affects the lives of 6 other people? Well, that number is actually much higher. Try approximately 135. We know this thanks to Professor Julie Cerel, the President of the American Association of Suicidology and her recent research (#not6).

Suicide is a difficult subject to contemplate. Survivors may be reluctant to confide that the death was self-inflicted. And when they together know the circumstances of the death, they may feel uncertain about how to offer help. Grief after suicide can be different than other losses, but there are many resources for survivors, and in many ways, you can help the bereaved. Simply dial 211 or 701-235-7335 for more information, listening and support, and to be linked to resources.

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