September is Suicide Prevention Month
National Recovery Month
SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH
Every September, we strive to bring attention to suicide awareness and prevention. Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States; over 45,00 individuals lost their lives to suicide last year. Suicide rates across all populations have held consistently high since 2016, peaking in 2018. Some people report feeling that the topic of suicide is uncomfortable to talk about. Often after a suicide has occurred, loved ones and friends acknowledge that they thought something was wrong or saw signs they were concerned about but did not know what to do or felt uncomfortable saying or doing anything. Breaking that isolation and that discomfort can save lives, and we encourage engaging with the community around this, in events such as this education and discussion webinar on September 6 run by Mental Health America on identification and prevention of youth suicide.
Below is a list of organizations that contain helpful information and resources. Links provide signs to look for, tips on how best to support someone who could be at risk, as well as information on what to do in such a crisis. We continue to feel it is vital to share resources for immediate safety and long-term support, both for those suffering from suicidal thoughts and their families:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
- Samaritans: 1-877-870-4673
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts: See their page on suicide prevention month.
- American Prevention for Suicide Prevention
- LifeLink: 855-466-7100
- Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention
- Massachusetts Suicide Prevention coalitions and providers
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Boston SafePlace, a support group for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
- The Black Mental Health Alliance
- Psychology Today Boston Therapists List
NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH
Chronic alcohol use and drug use impact physical health and mental health, significantly reducing quality of life and shortening life spans. Chronic addiction continues to be an ongoing national crisis, despite strong efforts in combating the disorder through expanded treatment access. Deaths due to addiction have increased, as well as a 59% increase in reports of alcohol abuse in 2020. There is some good news, overdose rates such as those caused by misuse of methadone have decreased, but we have a long way to go.
Isolation, boredom, frustration, and anxiety all contribute to increased substance use as an escape, as highlighted in this article. Recovery is a lengthy process and a lifetime of challenges for those who are successful in quitting drugs and alcohol. If you are struggling with a dependence on substances and feel like you cannot stop, or are watching someone you love or care about struggle with drugs or alcohol, we want you to know there is help, hope, and support. We wanted to highlight a list of major peer and professional support services that offer both in-person and remote connections, as well as other resources.
- Massachusetts Alcoholics Anonymous Directory
- New England Narcotics Anonymous Directory
- Al Anon: A support network for family and friends of those in recovery.
- Smart Recovery: An alternative internet friendly peer support network.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration: Information and Hotline
- Project ASSERT: A detox and rehab referral service.
- The City of Boston’s Recovery Services Team
- In the Rooms: A global Support and referral service.
- NAADAC on National Recovery Month
- National Recovery Month Calendar
As always, please reach out to us here at the City of Boston Employee Assistance Program for immediate support and assistance. Have a safe and warm September.