It’s Suicide Prevention Month; prioritize prevention

To the editor:

September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important that we are there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help each other save lives.

One action I’m taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. For this reason, it is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R.4194/S.2661) to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country that support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.

My name is Ashley and I lost my active duty Navy brother to suicide on August 22, 2016. The 3 digit suicide hotline would be a great benefit to the people. Right now it is an 800 number that is difficult to remember. Please help pass this very important bill!

In this time of uncertainty, we all need to find new ways to connect and support each other.

Together, we #KeepGoing.

Ashley Harper

Sierra Vista