September is National Suicide Prevention Month

Stokes County Health Department is recognizing September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, in a continuing effort to help promote suicide prevention discussions and support the opportunity to empower our families, friends, neighbors, and ourselves to live healthier lives.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Inness (NAMI), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America and the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or background and are often the result of mental health conditions. But suicide is preventable. Increasing public awareness, identifying warning signs, risk factors, and crisis support can make a difference. Having one conversation can help someone through a troubling time.

NAMI encourages everyone to remember these tips when having a conversation with a friend or loved one who may be confronting a crisis:

•Let them know that they can talk with you about what they are going through.

•Make sure that you are actively and openly listening to the things he or she says.

•Provide positive reinforcement, don’t argue with negative statements.

•Be an active listener by reflecting feelings and summarizing thoughts.

•Reassure your friend or loved one that you are concerned for their well-being and encourage them to lean on you for support.

NAMI identifies the below warning signs may mean someone is at risk. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or have increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change:

•Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.

•Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.

•Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

•Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

•Talking about being a burden to others.

•Increasing their use of alcohol or drugs.

•Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

•Sleeping too little or too much.

•Withdrawing or isolating themselves.

•Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

•Displaying extreme mood swings

As reported by Scott Lenhart, Health Director for Stokes County Health Department, “Stokes County has made many strides in the last several years to improve mental health services. Currently Stokes County suicide ranks 12th in the state compared to being in the top five several years ago”. In addition, many agencies take part in the Stokes County Suicide Prevention Taskforce, such as Cardinal Innovations Healthcare (formerly CenterPoint), Insight, and DayMark which work diligently on improving access to mental health care in Stokes County. With programs like crisis intervention training for first responder agencies, along with mental health first-aid training for general healthcare workers and the public, providing mental health screening within the health department and the local schools; Stokes County continues to move forward with improving access of care to the citizens of Stokes County.

For further information, contact:

•Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Systems

1-800-939-5911 If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis call toll-free number 24/7.


(336) 983-0941 Provides an array of services for the treatment of a mental illness, substance abuse problem, or developmental disability.


Crisis Line (919) 231-4525 or 1-877-235-4525 Provides free and confidential crisis and suicide prevention, supportive and non-judgmental active listening, gentle and understanding discussion of crisis resolution.

•Insight Human Services

(336) 725-8389 or 1-877-4HELP-NC A non-profit organization providing substance abuse and mental health resources.

•Left Behind: A Group for Survivors of Suicide

Registration is required. To register, please call Kelley Ryan at 336-331-1333. Meetings: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30 pm

•NAMI NC Helpline

1-800-451-9682 or free and confidential crisis helpline. NAMI NC also offers support group meets and educational classes.

•National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) or provides free and confidential crisis counseling to anyone in need 24/7.

•Text 4 Teens

Text (336) 283-6122 for help with suicide, depression, drugs, or relationships. Free and confidential text support for teens.

•Veterans Crisis Line

1-800-273-8255 press 1 or text to 838255 or use the Veterans Chat 24/7. Provides confidential help for Veterans and their families.

•Youth Haven

Offers clinical/diagnostic assessment, outpatient therapy, day treatment, intensive in-home services, respite and residential treatment. Call (336) 593-1024 or (336) 349-2233 for more information.

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