suicide prevention

National Suicide Prevention Week 2017 is September 10-16. Please take some time to learn the facts about suicide and the warning signs of someone who may be thinking about suicide. Reach out to those you think are at risk. Share this information on your social networks. And if it is you that is in crises please know there are people who love you and can help you.

This week’s infographic gives some startling statistics about suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Week Infographic #NSPW17

Self Care Is Important – Tips, Info and Resources for You

I have been in a very dark place myself, especially earlier this year. Depression has been a part of my life for myself, off and on, since 1986 (I was 16 then). Not only that, but my husband and son both suffer from bipolar and so thoughts of suicide have haunted them as well. Throughout all of these years I have learned that self-care is critical for everyone.

Self care is taking care of ones self which includes creating a plan of action with productive strategies for keeping yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy as well as having a plan of action in times of emergency. This means you need both short and long term solutions.

Self care is not just for those who are struggling with their own depression or mental health issues, it is also crucial for anyone living with or caring for or and that is close with an individual with their own issues. We have to learn to help ourselves before we can truly help others. It is so easy to get sucked into the drama of someone else’s care that we forsake our own.

  • Never Be Ashamed or Afraid of Asking For Help!
    The tides are turning and now there is not nearly the stigma there once was for asking for help. It can be hard to turn to those you love most sometimes so make sure you also have resources from others, outside your immediate friends and family, who you can turn to.
  • Know Your Limits
    As life happens we all have times where we reach “our limit” – this means the moment or event becomes overwhelming. Keep a journal or mental notes on when you see this happening and acknowledge that you do have limits.
  • Know Your Triggers
    Everyone has little things that can really be major triggers. It all has to do with our own life experiences. Be mindful of when something happens that causes you to become stressed, angry, depressed, or reach your limit. By knowing your triggers you can help avoid them sometimes or at the very least be ready with your other tools.
  • Know Your Self-Soothing Tools and Methods
    If you are feeling overwhelmed you need to know what types of things can help you calm emotions down a bit, get re-centered, and help yourself relax. There are unlimited ways to do this so you have to find several ways that will work for you. Physical movement, like just taking a walk or maybe some simple yoga stretching, can help many. Laughter is huge – keep bookmarks online of sites that make you laugh, keep joke books around, have funny shows and movies ready to watch, etc. Hobbies can soothe because they refocus our energy, think about music, arts, collecting, and reading. **WORD OF CAUTION – do not use food, alcohol, or any item or activity that can easily become addictions that impact you negatively.
  • Care For Yourself Physically
    Taking care of our bodies by providing quality food, regular exercise, and quality sleep all help our body support our minds and hearts.
  • Breathing, Relaxation, Medication All Can Work
    Some take to these approaches instantly, for others (me included) it can take time to find the right methods and resources to help use these tools. I promise they really can work.
  • Free Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Self-Help Guide (CBT)
    The GetSelfHelp guide is a phenomenal resource that is free and online (you can print it out as well) of self-guided therapy. Tons of worksheets, information printables, and even audio files. Great for all, but especially useful for those with limited or no access to professional mental health care. No registration or sign-up required to use either!
  • Free Mindful Meditation Audio Downloads
    From the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center you can download free mindful meditation audio files. Available in both English and Spanish.
  • University of Buffalo Self-Care Strategies
    This is for those studying and working in social services, but there are tons of great self-care strategies that all of us can utilize.
  • Psychology Help Center
    From the American Psychological Association, The Psychology Help Center has a vast array of free resources.