Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Westchester County recognizes September 2019 as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and County officials want you to know that mental health and wellness is everyone’s responsibility. In an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic and to connect people with appropriate resources, the County is asking all residents to #BeTheLink. Warning signs that a loved one is struggling with mental illness are not as clear cut as we would hope and knowing who to link to if you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one is an important first step in being able to reach out.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001
  • 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition
  • 90% of people who die by suicide had shown symptoms of a mental health condition, according to interviews with family, friends and medical professionals (also known as psychological autopsy)
  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth
  • 75% of people who die by suicide are male
  • Transgender adults are nearly 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning all you can about mental health is an important first step, and knowing the warning signs can help you determine whether to reach out to a professional.
Click here for details on why mental health is important, for potential warning signs of a mental health challenge and to find out how best to help someone who may be struggling with mental health issues. For many people, getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step in a treatment plan.
PLEASE NOTE:

  • If someone is in imminent danger, contact 911.
  • The National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) offers 24/7 assistance in multiple languages.
  • Text 741741 to connect to a free, trained crisis counselor.

For more information, visit the Westchester County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Task Force athttp://westchestersuicidesafety.org/ and/or the Westchester County Department of Mental Health athttps://mentalhealth.westchestergov.com/ or call 914-995-5220
Sincerely,
Nancy E. Barr

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