MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Prevention Month: breaking stigmas and helping those who are struggling

Sep 5, 2023, 2:00 PM

a person comforts someone, a new crisis stabilization center will help people with mental heath cri...

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. An expert shared some tips for prevention on Inside Sources. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — September is National Suicide Prevention Month and advocates are using this time to share information on helping those struggling with their mental health.

Ganel-Lyn Condie, an author, speaker and mental health advocate, provided some tips to KSL NewsRadio’s Inside Sources for having important conversations. 

“Don’t assume it’s a demographic that you’re not responsible for or not involved in,” said Condie. 

Fighting the stigma

Normalizing mental health struggles as health topics is one way we can destigmatize them, according to Condie.

According to one respondent to questions from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, encouraging equality between physical and mental illnesses can encourage people to think twice before commenting on someone’s mental health struggles.

Being open and honest about mental health is another way to destigmatize mental health. 

“When we post about it, talk about it,” said Condie, it becomes more normalized. 

Creating group chats with loved ones and sending messages such as ‘quick mental health check-in, use an emoji,’ is one method of starting important conversations. If someone uses an emoji that raises concern, that is a good time to follow up with them. 

“That expands the conversation right there because there [are] a lot more emojis than just happy, sad, and mad,” said Condie. 

Another way to reduce stigma around mental health is to ask follow-up questions, even for positive emotions. Posing questions such as ‘how did that make you feel?’ or asking the person to elaborate, can put focus on the individual, normalizing important conversations. 

NAMI also said that showing compassion, choosing empowerment over shame, and being honest about mental health struggles and treatment are all ways we can all work to destigmatize mental health struggles. 

The importance of therapy

Therapy is a means of education, according to Condie. It is a means of reframing things to feel attainable or accessible. 

“When you say therapy, it’s not always just the traditional talk therapy,” said Condie. “[It is] education for our relationships, our brains, [and] our hearts.” 

According to the American Psychological Association, close to 75% of people who begin psychotherapy or talking therapy see some benefits after six months of mental health treatment. These benefits can include increased self-awareness, developing healthy coping skills, and changing negative thought patterns. 

Supporting those who are struggling

When offering support to someone in need, or seeking support, an important question is ‘What does support look like?’ 

“Especially when it comes to mental health, the way one person receives support is different than another [person,]” said Condie. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, the CDC has provided some guidance for suicide prevention. 

Remind them that they are not alone.

Phrases such as “we’ll never be better without you,” are ways to remind the person how important they are, according to Condie. 

Create protective environments for the person who is struggling. Reduce access to lethal means, and make sure the person is not left alone. 

Those who are struggling should be provided the help they need. They can reach out to the Crisis Text Line, dial 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org.

Condie said that reaching out to start conversations about mental health is the first step for everyone. 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call 988, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (1-801-583-2500).

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Mental Health

Chief of Police for Price City Police Department, Brandon Sicilie, holding PeeDee....

Britt Johnson

Abandoned puppy finds a home at the Price Police Department

PeeDee, a puppy found on the side of a roadway during a dispatch call, has found a new home with the Price City Police Department.

2 days ago

baby feet, utah postpartum retreat helps new moms...

Britt Johnson

Utah company aims to help postpartum moms with special retreats

The founder of Utah Postpartum Retreat said she thinks new moms are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders because they lack support.

3 days ago

Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Provo, speaks about HB261 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 19,...

Aimee Cobabe

Lawmaker wants to increase maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments

Utah lawmakers are supporting a bill to increase the maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments.

11 days ago

woman with a therapeutic device on her head to treat depression...

LAURA UNGAR

A brain pacemaker helped a woman with crippling depression. It may soon be available to more people

Researchers say deep brain stimulation, or DBS — could eventually help many of the nearly 3 million Americans with treatment-resistance depression.

11 days ago

Mothers and mental health...

Mira Cheng, CNN

Maternal mental health conditions drive climbing death rate in US, research says

The maternal mortality rate in the US is two- to threefold greater than in other high-income countries and increasing.

11 days ago

Students walk to their buses after school at Rose Springs Elementary in Erda, Tooele County, on Thu...

Britt Johnson

Schools in Utah to get Kindness eWalls

Kindness eWalls display positive messages submitted by a school's students, teachers and parents.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Suicide Prevention Month: breaking stigmas and helping those who are struggling