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AMHC raises awareness for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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

“According to the Maine Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Mainers ages 10-45,” explains Michelle Ferris, director of emergency services. “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. AMHC is available to anyone in Aroostook, Washington and Hancock counties experiencing a crisis. To access our Mobile Emergency Services team please 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 Friday, 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. By taking five minutes to learn about suicide, you will be making a difference in the world! The steps include: 

  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 five 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! 

Celebrating more than 56 years, AMHC is a nonprofit organization supporting nearly 5,500 clients annually. The agency has 26 service sites and 325 employees located across Aroostook, Washington, and Hancock counties providing mental health, substance use, crisis, and sexual assault services. For more information, connect with AMHC at www.amhc.org.

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