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September is Suicide Prevention Month

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI-VT) calls attention to Sept. 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day, “a day to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness, and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to appropriate treatment and services,” the organization writes in a press release. “It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends, and families have access to the resources they need to address suicide prevention.”

According to NAMI-VT, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions that affect people when they are most vulnerable.

Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues. In many cases, the individuals, friends, and families affected by suicide are left in darkness, feeling shame or stigma that prevents talking openly about issues dealing with suicide.

These resources are available:

• Crisis Text Line: text “VT” to 741741

• Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255 or 800-273-TALK

• Professional Counseling or Therapy

• Peer Support

• Connection Peer Support Groups, which meet in Bennington, Berlin, Burlington, Rutland, and St Johnsbury.

• NAMI Vermont Guidebook, which can be found at namivt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NAMI-Vermont-Guidebook-2017-03.pdf.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #424 (Wednesday, September 6, 2017). This story appeared on page A2.

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