It’s National Suicide Prevention Day, and the The Jed Foundation (JED) wants you to know that It’s OK to Say Suicide. Talking about suicide might feel scary or awkward, but it can save lives. It opens the door to future conversations, builds trust, reduces stigma, and can lead to people asking for, and receiving, the help they need. Many people have said that talking about suicide made them feel less alone.
We’re a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults. At a time when suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people in America, this work is vital, especially because 47% of 18- to 25-year-olds perceived an unmet need for mental health services as of 2021. JED’s approach is to equip individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive; to strengthen high schools, colleges, and universities; and to mobilize communities.
You can play a part. Parents, caregivers, educators, and all caring adults can contribute toward stemming today’s national youth mental health crisis and helping the young people in their lives.
Here’s how to start:
- Learn – Suicides may seem like they happen suddenly, but there are often warning signs and symptoms. Learn some of the warning signs that might help you determine if someone you care about is at risk.
- Talk – The best way to learn how someone is doing is to ask them. Sometimes those conversations feel uncomfortable, so here are tips to initiate those essential talks with a teenager or young adult in your life. Once you initiate—don’t give up! You might face some resistance at first, but persistence is key. Check back in with your loved one.
- Connect – Follow JED to discover new resources and share them with your network and the young people in your life. For example, this month, you will hear stories from young people whose lives were saved by saying suicide and getting help. These videos can be powerful tools to facilitate authentic conversations and inform next steps.
- Support– Ensure that the young people in your life know that your door is always open to talk and that you are willing to support them throughout their mental health journey (which might mean helping them find a qualified professional). Familiarize with and share the helpline information listed below. To advance national youth suicide prevention efforts, show your support by volunteering or making a donation.
The Jed Foundation (JED) is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.