The understanding and care of mental health are more important now than ever in a time of political strife, the fearful influence of a pandemic, and uncertainties of the future. A declining mental health is able to influence the possibilities of suicide. Thus, in the month of September yearly and nationally, suicide awareness has been instated.
According to Suicidology, Suicide Awareness Month is meant to promote awareness and education of mental health and suicide, as well as understanding the warning signs of suicide. The month also emphasizes the use of resources, research funding, and overall compassion for helping those with mental health needs thrive mentally and emotionally. These tactics are crucial due to how impactful mental health and suicide are on individuals and their loved ones.
As stated by the World Health Organization, close to 800,000 suicides happen yearly, with more than 20 suicide attempts for each suicide. Additionally, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have further increased mental health needs and suicide ideation. As surmised by the CDC, many have reported an increase of anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as an increased use of substances to cope with the influences of the pandemic on their jobs, health, finances, schooling, and interpersonal interactions. Furthermore, many more have contemplated suicide due to the struggles and stress they’re experiencing from the pandemic.
Therefore, the importance of taking care of mental health has increased dramatically. For those affected by mental health needs, being surrounded by loved ones is emphasized; likewise, loved ones should be educated on any warning signs of declining mental health, as well as how they are able to support and love their loved ones, according to NAMI. Additionally, local support groups are implemented to assist individuals in coping with their mental health needs healthily and collectively.
No one should feel alone or hopeless, especially in this time. Therefore, understanding and building compassion towards mental health and those affected are more important than ever.