New Directions Behavioral Health today announced that it has launched its annual Suicide Prevention & Awareness toolkit for the national awareness month in September. According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States – and rates have been on the rise for the past two decades.
Suicide is preventable, which is why spreading awareness, reducing the stigma around mental health conditions and educating communities about how to support someone who may be struggling is critical to saving lives. New Directions, a coordinated behavioral health company, created a toolkit of videos, posters, articles and more that can be downloaded and shared during National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month in September, and all year round.
“Identifying those at risk and engaging them in the right treatment are two important steps in preventing suicide,” said Dr. Bernard DiCasimirro, chief medical officer at New Directions. “As a part of our risk assessment program at New Directions, anyone who reaches our contact centers is routinely screened for suicidal thoughts, intentions and plans. This is critically important because without that initial screening, a person might not receive the care they really need.”
In addition to being on the frontlines supporting individuals with behavioral health treatment, New Directions is also helping other organizations spread awareness. This year, the company sponsored the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention North Florida Chapter, which funds educational programs, support and resources for survivors of suicide loss.
New Directions also sponsored Suicide Awareness Survivor Support, an organization that works to promote healing through a network of support in the aftermath of suicide, serving the greater Kansas City area.
“We all have a role to play in reducing the stigma by being open about our own mental health and normalizing asking for help,” said Dr. DiCasimirro. “One of the best ways you can help someone who is struggling is to just listen. Give them a safe space to talk about how they’re feeling and know where to go for help if you suspect they are in danger.”
To learn about warning signs, ways to cope and more, visit ndbh.com/Suicide.