September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This month, communities across the country are raising awareness and sharing stories in order to break down the stigma that can often be a barrier to getting help. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation designating September 8-14, 2019 as Suicide Prevention Week. The theme is Finding Purpose: Taking Care of Ourselves and Others.
In the proclamation, Whitmer drew attention to Michigan’s high rates of suicide and their impact on the community. She emphasized that Michigan can work to reduce its suicide rates by employing best practices, increasing community involvement, and continuing to reduce stigma surrounding seeking help by openly discussing suicide.
The goal of the week is to work together as a community to “promote awareness that there is hope—suicide is preventable and mental illness is treatable.”
Within MARI, University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF) Director Cynthia Ewell Foster, Ph.D., has been working to increase the University of Michigan’s capacity for suicide prevention. Through the Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, housed at MARI, Dr. Ewell Foster has collaborated with other organizations at U-M, including University Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Department of Psychiatry/Depression Center, and the Dean of Students Office to identify public health solutions and increase support for students. For more information on this initiative, please see our Suicide Prevention Grant page.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Take time to learn the risk factors and warning signs of suicide.
- Be prepared to navigate a mental health crisis.
- Learn what to do if someone tells you they’re thinking about suicide.
- Know how to ask for support from your friends and loved ones.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, know that help is out there.
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to a trained crisis counselor. For more information on what to expect when you call, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call 1-800-799-4889 for specialized services.
The Crisis Text Line offers support through text. Counselors are trained to use collaborative problem solving and active listening to help texters work through difficult situations. Services are 24/7 and free. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with someone.
The University Psychological Clinic offers non-emergency psychological support to the University of Michigan and surrounding communities. Our clinicians offer a wide variety of services, individualized to whatever you might be struggling with. Call us at (734) 764-3471 to learn more.