Suicide prevention advocates discuss importance of National Suicide Prevention Week

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:11 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - The CDC reports last year alone, more than 49,000 people committed suicide in the U.S. It represents a two and a half percent jump from the previous year. Sept. 10 marked the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week. It’s a time for suicide prevention advocates raise awareness to try to help save more lives.

“There’s a lot of ways people with thoughts of suicide can be helped. There’s not just one fit. We usually recommend a wide array of resources that are 24/7 but as well as just reaching out,” said Director for Prevent Suicide West Virginia, Barri Faucett.

Faucett says people can reach out to hotlines like the crisis text line and the suicide and crisis lifeline. She says sometimes it may be difficult for people struggling to reach out. It’s why she says it’s paramount to check in on the people we care about.

You can text the crisis text line at 741741 or you can call the suicide and crisis lifeline by simply calling 988.

“We often say meet people where they are. So some people might need a formalized treatment, some people might just need an intervention in that moment, place and time. The way to start that conversation is to ask about suicide and see if that’s what the content is. Are we talking about suicide right now,” said Faucett.

Michelle Toman along with Faucett are co-founders of You Matter I Matter. Toman says during this time it’s important for those who are survivors of suicide or a loss survivor to be there for one another.

“We’ve been doing this work since before we had a National Suicide Prevention Month and week. We’ve been out a really long time but that was very overwhelming as a loss survivor to think National Suicide Prevention Month. But I didn’t prevent my person’s suicide because I couldn’t help what I didn’t know,” said Toman.

Toman says suicide prevention has come a long way but there is still a stigma surrounding suicide. She says if more people can talk about it responsibly and safely, more lives can be saved.