You are not alone. Help is available.

September marks Suicide Prevention Month. A national poll conducted in 2020 found that while 95% of Americans surveyed would do something if someone close to them was thinking about suicide, almost 70% of respondents identified barriers that keep them from discussing suicide with others. These barriers included not knowing what to say, not knowing where to turn for help, feeling they don't have enough knowledge, or not feeling comfortable with the topic.

As a result of the pandemic, however, the majority of those surveyed say that it is more important than ever to make suicide prevention a national priority. In addition, more than half of Americans are now more open to talking about their own mental health.

We are listening.

As a behavioral healthcare provider serving the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas, our team at South Texas Health System Behavioral is dedicated to #BeThere in a manner that promotes hope, resiliency, connectedness and recovery. Mental health services, evidence-based treatments and support are available. We are listening – and we can help.

If someone is experiencing an emotional crisis or thoughts of suicide, 24/7 confidential assessments are available by contacting us directly at 956-388-1300. Further, public helplines include:

* 988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that provides 24/7 no-cost and confidential support for individuals in distress, including prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Simply call or text 988, or chat 988lifeline.org.

* The Veterans Crisis Line for U.S. Military Veterans, call 988, press 1.

* Trevor Lifeline, the only national 24/7 lifeline for LGBTQ youth, is reached at 1-866-488-7386.

Research indicates that a sense of belonging and social connectedness improves physical, mental and emotional well-being. In fact, connectedness is a proven protective factor against suicide. Make it a point to call a family member or friend and make an emotional connection each day. Showing sincere interest in another person’s life can build stronger relationships and listening to others’ issues can help shed new light on our own challenges.

We want our community to know we are in this together, and each of us has a role to play in suicide prevention, not only during the month of September but all year long.

#BeThere

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Jessica Becker, CEO and Managing Editor of South Texas Health System Behavioral. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Becker can be reached by email via: [email protected]


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