Health

AMHC raises awareness as part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

CARIBOU, Maine — September is designated as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Aroostook Mental Health Services Inc. encourages everyone to Take 5 to Save Lives!

“Due to the pandemic, this year AMHC will be relying heavily on social media to raise awareness about suicide,” said Michelle Ferris, director of emergency services.  “According to the Maine Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Mainers ages 10-45. Our State’s suicide rate remains higher than the rest of the nation and more people die from suicide than from car accidents or breast cancer.”

Ferris said AMHC is available to anyone experiencing a crisis. To access its Mobile Emergency Services team, anyone in need can call or text the Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112. 

Take 5 to Save Lives is a public awareness campaign run by the National Council for Suicide Prevention in support of World Suicide Prevention Day, to be held on Thursday, Sept. 10. The goal of the campaign is to encourage everyone to take five simple actions steps that focus on preventing the tragedy of suicide. 

The steps include the following.

  1.   Learn the signs. Although it may not always be obvious, individuals experiencing an emotional crisis usually exhibit one or more of the warning signs of suicide. Your ability to identify the signs will better prepare you to take action and could help save a life.
  2.   Know how to help. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask your friend if they’re having thoughts of suicide. By knowing exactly what to say and do, you’ll be ready to act and keep your friends and family safe. 
  3.   Practice self-care. Research indicates that our mental fitness or wellness is crucial to our overall long-term health, and can even protect us from disease. Learn some tips for keeping mentally fit. Make it a priority!
  4.   Reach out. If you or someone you know is in emotional distress you must reach out for help. You are not alone. Learn about different help options and how to take that first step in seeking help and care.
  5.   Spread the word. Let’s get people talking! By sharing the Take 5 campaign with 5 other people we can raise awareness of the problem of suicide and equip people with easy tools to help themselves and others. Together we can all make a difference!

AMHC reminds the public that by taking five minutes to learn about suicide, they can make a difference in the world.

AMHC has 26 service sites and 325 employees located across Aroostook, Washington and Hancock counties providing mental health, substance use, crisis, sexual assault services and brain injury services (in Aroostook County). 

For more information, connect with AMHC at www.amhc.org.

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