You can help prevent suicide. We all can. Maybe you have faced suicidal thoughts, or maybe a friend or loved one has. Maybe someone in your life has completed suicide. Whoever you are, suicide has touched your life in some way. Every struggle is different, but one thing is the same: Help is always out there.

The establishment of 988 as an easy way to contact the national suicide and crisis lifeline is an important step to provide support to those in need. It’s one more tool to help reach those who don’t know where to turn, and the more we talk about it and publicize it, the better chance we have of reaching people before it’s too late.

But there’s so much more that we can do. We can talk to people we worry about, show them we care, and ask them how they’re feeling. We can participate in awareness events, like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention walks that happen throughout the country. We can learn, advocate, and volunteer to help bring knowledge and awareness to our homes, schools, and communities. And we can share our stories of suicide and mental health, because the more we talk about it, the more we help each other understand that it’s ok to talk about it.

And we can make sure that everyone is aware of resources like the 988 hotline, or getting immediate text help by sending the word TALK to 741741, or contacting our Mobile Crisis Services at 518.292.5499. Follow us on social media this month as we share more information on what we all can do to help.