Bringing Awareness to Suicide Prevention

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 11:40 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - September is suicide awareness month. NewsSource 8 Adriana Sanchez spoke with some experts on the importance on bringing awareness to suicide and has the story.

National Suicide Prevention week is September 5th through September 11th in the United States. The week is dedicated to engaging health professionals and the public in talking about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide. As part of this effort, organizations like Aroostook Mental Health Center take part in Take 5 to save lives.

“Take 5 to save lives is really a national initiative to bring awareness to suicide, suicide rates, what can you do, what can you ask and what are some resources there might be,” said Michelle Ferris, Program Dir. Emergency Services AMHC.

Experts say the stigma associated with suicide can be a challenge for people who need help.

“It takes a lot of strength and courage to be able to open up and talk about our mental health whether anxiety whether depression whether bipolar whether you have schizophrenia it takes a lot of courage to be able to be open about it,” said Mary-Helena McInerney, LCPC County Behavioral Medicine.

“Part of the challenge is people feel there’s this stigma or belief that you’re weak if you need help and you should be able to figure out it out on your own but we wouldn’t necessarily have those same thoughts if you were dealing with a physical health care issue like a broken bone,” said Ferris.

Both say bringing awareness and talking about suicide and mental health is crucial for society.

“It’s literally life or death if people can’t talk about it – what they are experiencing for them death is a solution,” added Ferris.

“Diagnosable with it or not everyone has had anxiety or depression at some point to a certain extent and I think learning how to address, identify try to explore different ways how to cope with all these stressors, by opening up and talking about it we make the negativity surrounding it- we lessen it,” said McInerney.

If you or someone you know is in need of help you can call the Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112 or StrengthenME (207)762-4851.

Adriana Sanchez NewsSource 8

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