Providing Support During Suicide Prevention Month

September is the month in which we recognize Suicide Prevention.

This is a difficult topic to bring up, but we believe that makes it even more important to shed light on. 

September is also the unofficial start of the holiday season in some communities – including the military community and personnel who support them. These holidays pour in back to back, and we all know that while holidays are a time many people love, they can also stir up feelings of loneliness, and old or painful memories.
We at RedSky are asking that you be mindful of your military family and friends (as we hope you always are) who seem to be ‘not quite themselves’ during these times. They likely don’t feel like themselves, and they may struggle to admit that or ask for help. 

As a supportive person in their life, you have the privilege to ask, “Are you alright?” and to approach every conversation with a struggling loved one from a place of compassion. Though it seems like a small thing to do, asking a simple check-in question could save a life. 

If you start a conversation with a loved one and they do open up, you may not be fully equipped to walk with every fear or depressing feeling they’re experiencing. It’s important for those who love and support the military, college students away from home for the first time, or even first responders under immense pressure to know that it’s okay if you don’t know every answer. At the very least, you now can say to them, “I don’t know, but we’ll find out how to get through this together.” 

The word we like to focus on most in this conversation is “Prevention.” The more we can do today to create a community of support and openness for those in our lives, the better off we will all be in the long run.

So for this Suicide Prevention Month, we’re committed to being vigilant about seeing signs of depression and/or suicidal thoughts in family members, friends, or co-workers. You don’t have to fix all of their problems to support them – many people simply need to know that someone is there for them. We’re not alone in this battle against suicide – you have the suicide prevention hotline at ‘988’ as well as resources by way of counselors, religious organizations, and loved ones who are ready to assist. If you suspect someone may be considering suicide, don’t leave their side and seek professional assistance immediately.

Thank you for joining us in this fight – we hope this Suicide Prevention Month can be a time of increased support, awareness, and lasting change for all of our communities.