Today’s Solutions: May 20, 2022

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Addressing mental health crises with support and treatment is the most effective way to prevent self-harm and suicide, yet only a fraction of people experiencing mental health challenges receive proper resources and treatment. Watching for signs of distress in our friends and family members is one way we can all help reduce suicide rates and improve the mental health of those we love. Today we share tips from the American Psychological Association (APA) on how to help someone in an emotional crisis.

Spotting the signs of a mental health crisis

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to see when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts. However, there are some warning signs to be on the lookout for.

  • Neglect of personal hygiene.
  • A dramatic change in sleep habits, such as sleeping more often or not sleeping well.
  • Weight gain or loss.
  • A decline in performance at work or school.
  • Pronounced changes in mood, such as irritability, anger, anxiety, or sadness.
  • Withdrawal from routine activities and relationships.

These changes can happen quickly or gradually. If you are sensing a change in behavior from a friend or family member, don’t wait to check-in. If you have a feeling that something is wrong, you’re probably right.

Checking in 

The first thing to do if you suspect someone is in a mental health crisis is to reach out. Sit down in a supportive and non-judgmental way and offer a safe space for them to express themselves. A simple invitation to share is a good starting point. Something like: “Let’s talk. You don’t seem like yourself lately. Is there something going on?” Listen actively, stick to the facts, and avoid blame or criticism.

Seek professional help 

The support of family and friends is critical, but if you are not a licensed mental health professional, you are not equipped to provide all the resources necessary to address a mental health crisis. The next step is to encourage them to seek professional support.

Remind the person that mental health professionals have the resources and training to offer more effective support and treatment strategies. Encourage them to speak to their primary care physician about mental health resources or utilize free resources in their school or community. Workplaces with employee assistance programs (EAP) can often refer resources or they can use APA’s Psychologist Locator Service.

Urgent care

It is not uncommon for those experiencing depression to think about suicide, however, if someone is actively considering suicide, sees no alternatives to managing their mental health crisis, or is harming themselves, it’s critical that they are connected with resources immediately.

If the person refuses to seek help, emergency room medical staff can connect someone with psychological resources immediately. If you believe someone is seriously considering suicide, do not leave them alone and remove potentially tools for harm from their vicinity. The numbers below are hotlines for immediate help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1 to be connected with the Veterans Crisis Line)

To connect with a skilled counselor: 1-800-273-TALK

Lifeline Chat: Webchat resource from National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Architects redesign their industry labor model

The architecture profession is often glamorized as a creative and lucrative job where individual designers get their names tied to monumental construction projects. The truth is that an individual’s effort, even their whole team’s collaborative ... Read More

Meet the animals that refused to go extinct

May 20th marks the 17th annual Endangered Species Day. Every year, thousands of people around the world join together in taking action to protect and celebrate endangered or threatened species. In solidarity with the lives ... Read More

US trucking shortages might be at an end

Right now, economists, workers, and consumers alike are all holding their breath with the looming potential of a recession. It’s a lot to mentally wrangle with while we all look at various economic indicators and ... Read More

“Dramatic” success in clinical trials of novel asthma treatment

According to the AAFA, around 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma, about one in every 13 people. This long-term disease causes swelling and inflammation of the airways, resulting in restriction and discomfort when ... Read More

UK-based walking group makes strides in men’s mental health

Of course, it’s never advisable to generalize, in this case, however, the evidence demonstrates that men are notoriously difficult to serve when it comes to mental health support.  With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, ... Read More

4 fascinating facts about bees to celebrate Bee Day

May 20th is Bee Day! So, to celebrate our fabulous pollinating friends, here are four facts that go beyond their all-important role in plant cross-fertilization. Females are the future Female bees have different jobs depending ... Read More