(BPT) - Did you know suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.? Suicide remains a leading cause of death in the United States, with 48,183 deaths by suicide reported in 2021. If you or someone you love has been impacted by suicide, you know how devastating it is. Now more than ever, it's important to be there for one another and take steps to safeguard everyone's mental health and prevent suicide. And the good news is, there are things everyone can do right now to help prevent suicide.
For National Suicide Prevention Month this year, here are two positive ways you can help those who are struggling and honor those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Talk away the dark
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), one of the first steps in helping to prevent suicide is to talk about it. Don't be afraid to initiate honest, open conversations about mental health with those you care about. Learn more about how to start these conversations and offer your support at AFSP.org.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Join an Out of the Darkness Walk near you
The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is a journey of remembrance, hope and support. These walks give people the courage to open up about their own connections to the cause and a platform to create a culture that's smarter about mental health. Friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers walk side by side, supporting each other and in memory of those they've lost.
For the past 20 years, the Georgia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has been participating in Out of the Darkness Walks, and they invite everyone to join them this fall in helping to support their efforts to prevent deaths by suicide, as well as to connect with others whose lives have been touched by suicide and those walking in memory of someone they loved. Those who walk find support, comfort and a sense of community as they join together for the cause.
You, your friends and your family can all help make a difference in suicide prevention by joining a walk near you this fall, in every corner of the state:
- Columbus - September 16
- Savannah - September 16
- Augusta - September 17
- Perry - September 24
- Paulding County - October 21
- Winder - October 22
- West Georgia - October 29
- Atlanta - November 5
Register and join an Out of the Darkness Walk to support the life-saving mission of the AFSP through research funding, educational programs, advocacy for public policy and support for survivors of suicide loss.
Find details about a walk near you in Georgia or any other state at AFSP.org/georgiawalks. You can even choose to walk virtually. For information on suicide prevention programming, resources and to become involved, visit AFSP.org/georgia.