Bradenton, Fla. — September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Centerstone recognizes National Suicide Prevention Month as a time for mental health advocates, community members, prevention organizations, survivors and others to raise awareness and promote constructive discussion about suicide prevention.
The rate of suicide is on an alarming upward trend and is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the suicide rate has risen by 35 percent in the last 20 years. In 2018, 48,344 Americans died by suicide — an average of 132 people each day.
National Suicide Prevention Month seeks to break the stigma surrounding suicide and provide opportunities for fruitful conversations. Having more open conversations leads to less suicide occurring, as people feel less alone and are more willing to share their troubling thoughts.
Along with regular suicide prevention practices, Centerstone recently received a grant of $800K for COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention (ERSP) to be rolled out through the end of 2021. A team has been put in place that will focus on strengthening community connections to reach at-risk audiences, specifically those impacted by domestic violence and other challenges during the pandemic.
“The majority of people who die by suicide have never received mental health treatment, which is why mental health providers alone cannot prevent suicide. Everyone in our community has a role to play,” explained Melissa Larkin-Skinner, Regional CEO of Centerstone. “Considering the added psychological and social effects of this year’s pandemic, it’s essential that everyone knows suicide is preventable. Grants like ERSP will enable us to engage with each other to provide support services, ensure follow-up care, fight stigma, and give individuals a sense of belonging and a feeling of connectedness.”
Centerstone is dedicated to eliminating the stigma surrounding suicide and is committed to providing spaces where these issues can be talked about safely. Centerstone will focus on fostering conversations about suicide prevention throughout the month of September, and invites clients, the media and members of the community to join discussions on:
• Suicide statistics and trends
• Suicide prevention and access to mental health resources
• Suicide amongst the military community
• Suicide amongst the LGBTQ+ community
• Suicide amongst the BIPOC community
For more information and updates on National Suicide Prevention Month, please visit www.centerstone.org/suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health concerns or thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Centerstone is a not-for-profit health system providing mental health and substance use disorder treatments. Services are available nationally through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, the use of telehealth and an inpatient hospital. Centerstone also features specialized programs for the military community, therapeutic foster care, children’s services and employee assistance programs. Centerstone’s Research Institute provides guidance through research and technology, leveraging the best practices for use in all our communities. Centerstone’s Foundation secures philanthropic resources to support the work and mission of delivering care that changes people’s lives.