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LaSalle County 708 Mental Health Board Recognizes Suicide Prevention Month

September is a month dedicated to raising awareness about an issue that impacts millions of lives around the world: suicide. Recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month, this initiative seeks to break the stigma surrounding mental health, provide education, and foster compassion and understanding for those struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Why We Recognize National Suicide Prevention Month

Mental health advocates and organizations in the United States recognized the urgent need to address the rising suicide rates and the associated stigmas. Thus, they initiated a campaign to raise awareness and promote prevention strategies.

In 1974, the first National Suicide Prevention Week was held, organized by the American Association of Suicidology. This event aimed to educate the public about suicide, its warning signs, and available prevention resources. The week-long campaign was eventually extended to an entire month in 2003, officially establishing September as National Suicide Prevention Month.

The Importance of Suicide Awareness

In a world where mental health struggles affect countless individuals, the importance of suicide awareness cannot be overstated. Every year, millions of lives are touched by the profound impact of suicide, whether directly or indirectly.

1. Destigmatization of Mental Health

Suicide is often linked to mental health issues, and unfortunately, stigma still surrounds both topics. National Suicide Prevention Month allows for open discussions about mental health, normalizing the conversation and encouraging individuals to seek help without fear of judgment.

2. Education and Early Intervention

Awareness months provide an opportunity to educate the public about the signs of suicidal ideation, risk factors, and preventive measures. When people are informed, they can recognize warning signs in themselves and others and take action to prevent tragedies.

3. Encouraging Help-Seeking Behavior

Many individuals struggling with mental health issues hesitate to seek help due to fear, shame, or lack of awareness about available resources. By spreading awareness, we can encourage those in need to reach out for support, whether from friends, family, hotlines, or mental health professionals.

4. Promoting Supportive Communities

Suicide Prevention Month fosters a sense of community support. It reminds us that we all play a role in supporting those around us who may be struggling. Expressing care, offering a listening ear, and being there for one another can make a significant difference.

5. Advocating for Policy Changes

Increased awareness can lead to policy changes that prioritize mental health services, suicide prevention programs, and accessible healthcare. Advocacy efforts driven by public awareness contribute to the improvement of the mental healthcare system.

6. Reducing Suicide Rates

Ultimately, the overarching goal of National Suicide Prevention Month is to reduce suicide rates. Through education, prevention strategies, and supportive communities, lives can be saved, and individuals can find the help and hope they need to overcome their challenges.

How You Can Get Involved

The best way to get involved is to spread the word. Share information about National Suicide Prevention Month on your social media platforms, blogs, or in conversations with friends and family. Help in normalizing discussions about mental health.

You can join local or virtual events related to suicide prevention. Many organizations host walks, workshops, and talks during this month. Engage in these events to gain more knowledge and show your support.

Take the time to educate yourself about suicide, mental health, and available resources. Knowledge is a powerful tool in the fight against suicide.

Be a friend or a listening ear for someone who may be struggling. Let them know they're not alone and that help is available. Encourage them to seek professional help if necessary.

Suicide Prevention Resources in LaSalle County

Find suicide prevention resources below:


  • 988 -National Suicide Lifeline

  • 1-844-493-8255 -Colorado Crisis Service Hotline

  • 911 - Immediate emergency help

  • (800) 366-8288) -Self-Injury Hotline

  • 988 then press 1 -National Veteran Crisis Hotline

LaSalle County Out of the Darkness Walk

Out of the Darkness Community Walks are organized events that bring together individuals and communities to raise awareness, support, and funds for suicide prevention initiatives, education, and mental health advocacy.

Location: Washington Park, Ottawa, IL

Date: 10/14/2023

Time: Check in at 11 am, Walk starts at 1 pm


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