How to help loved ones struggling with mental health

Mental health should be talked about. 

Let's break down the stigma. 

Good mental health is a passion of mine and as we bring awareness to suicide prevention this month, let's talk about it. 

Experts want you to know that support can make a difference. 

It's important to initiate those hard conversations.

Don't ignore it, that could make things worse. 

Katie Hurley, of the Jed Foundation, encourages people to say the word 'suicide.'

"It's okay to use that very direct language. And in fact, that gives the other person a chance to really say what's on their minds," she says. 

If you have that conversation, be an active listener, validate them and their feelings. 

If you or a loved one are looking for help, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Consider these five actions steps to support someone in crisis.

Ask: Asking and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.

Help keep them safe: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to lethal means is an important part of suicide prevention.

Be there: Increasing someone’s connectedness to others and limiting their isolation has shown to be a protective factor against suicide.

Help them connect: Individuals that called the 988 Lifeline were significantly more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful by the end of calls.

Follow up: After you’ve connected a person experiencing thoughts of suicide with the immediate support systems that they need, following-up with them to see how they’re doing can help increase their feelings of connectedness and support. There’s evidence that even a simple form of reaching out can potentially reduce that person’s risk for suicide.

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