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September is National Suicide Prevention Month

September 8, 2023

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34, and numbers are only rising. It can feel scary to talk about suicidal thoughts and feelings, but speaking out saves lives. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and we invite you to learn more about what to look out for in yourself and others. Help erase the stigma around suicide by raising awareness and encouraging others to speak up and seek support.

Risk factors include:

  • Previous attempt
  • Feel hopeless, worthless, lonely
  • Stressful life event
  • Substance use problem
  • Access to firearms
  • Underlying psychiatric condition
  • Family history
  • Medical condition

Warning signs include:

  • Talking about suicide
  • Getting the means to take your life
  • Withdrawing from social contact &wanting to be left alone
  • Having mood swings – highs and lows one day to the next
  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
  • Doing risky or self-destructive things
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there’s no logical explanation for doing this
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
  • Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated

Dos and Don’ts:

  • Do talk about it! It is OK to ask about suicide and talk about suicide.
  • Don’t assume it is about attention. If someone talks about suicide, take it seriously.
  • Do know the warning signs.
  • Don’t act shocked.
  • Do remain calm.
  • Don’t say you know how they feel.
  • Do offer empathy, listen, ask questions, remain non-judgmental.
  • Don’t tell someone what they should be grateful for what they have to live for.
  • Do encourage and help get them connected to professional support

24/7 Resources

  • Suicide and Crisis Lifeline –  Call or text 988
  • Veterans Crisis Line –  Call 988 and press 1, Text 838255
  • Trevor Project – (866)488-7386, text START to 678-678
  • Visit the WSVMA website for additional resources
  • Sign up for CorpCare, WSVMA’s member benefit for only $450* annually

In addition, WSVMA offers an Employee Assistance Program member benefit. CorpCare’s Employee Assistance Program is a professional counseling resource for veterinary practices provided at only $450 *annually, and it covers all employees and their families*. If you are interested in adding a 24/7 confidential, caring, EAP Program, check out this post on the WSVMA community or reach out to us directly at [email protected]. Available to WSVMA members. If you are not a member join today to take advantage of this amazing benefit.

*$450 is for up to 50 employees, for the 3 session plan. Additional plans are available.