September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition.

Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic.

When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed.  A large part of anxiety comes from a sense of what we think we should be able to control, but can’t.

Right now, many of us are worried about COVID-19. In times like these, our mental health can suffer. We don’t always know it’s happening. You might feel more on edge than usual, angry, helpless or sad. You might notice that you are more frustrated with others or want to completely avoid any reminders of what is happening.

For those of us who already struggle with our mental wellness, we might feel more depressed or less motivated to carry out our daily activities.

It’s important to note that we are not helpless in light of current events.  We can always choose our response.  If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty:

1. Separate what is in your control from what is not.

2. Do what helps you feel a sense of safety.

3. Get outside in nature. Exercise also helps both your physical and mental health.

4. Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling

You don’t have to be alone, and help is always available.  If you’re feeling alone and struggling, reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Bureau County Health Department: 526 Bureau Valley Pkwy., Princeton, IL, 61356 815-872-5091,