September is Suicide Prevention Month, and in honor of the month, Lock and Talk is encouraging families and community leaders to raise awareness of suicide prevention. While suicide prevention and mental health are important topics to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month dedicates four weeks to acknowledge a taboo topic and discuss healing.
This year, our theme is centered around highlighting the importance of lethal means safety; or the “lock” component of Lock and Talk Virginia. Our theme, “Lock Tight, Save Lives”, educates our communities and encourages those to properly and safely secure lethal means such as firearms, medications, and other harmful items in the home. By putting time and distance between lethal means and individuals who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, we can save more lives. We are excited to share information and resources with you throughout the month to promote positive, supportive conversations about suicide prevention in our communities.
Join in our Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Campaign by:
- Sharing valuable resources, such as available mental wellness trainings and where to access free lethal means devices in your community
- Posting one of our Key Messages, as well as local resources, to your social media platforms using our Social Media Toolkit
- Listening to and sharing our Suicide Prevention Awareness Radio Ad and Videos on the importance of “Lock Tight, Save Lives”
In Virginia, suicide deaths by firearm are historically higher among middle-aged Caucasian men. However, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone despite gender, age or race. Mental health resources are readily available. Here’s how to raise awareness of suicide prevention utilizing these resources:
- Share the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number across your social media Platforms.
- Share the following Crisis Text Line information on your social media, and with family and friends: Text 988 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
- Educate others on the possible warning signs of suicide for a person at risk. Click here for a Suicide Warning Signs Infographic.
- Safely secure firearms, medications and other potentially dangerous items during a mental health crisis. Click here for a Safety Guidelines Infographic.
- Reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking behaviors by talking openly about suicide prevention.
- Repost, retweet and share helpful mental health resources on your social media or webpage.
Lock and Talk’s partners provide free safety devices to secure guns and medications and offer free educational materials and guidelines about storing and securing lethal means. Utilize your Community Services Board for these resources. See images below for examples of what is available.
Medication lock box and firearm lock box
Metal firearm trigger lock and firearm cable lock
Together, we can prevent suicides in our community. Lock tight, save lives.
Visit www.lockandtalk.org for resources.