You and your mental health matter

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

Alright friends, it’s Suicide Prevention Month and I’m sure you have a friend or family member who has struggled with their mental health. In fact, I think everyone struggles with their mental health at one time or another.

You might have someone in your life who is having suicidal thoughts and not even know it. You may know someone who has attempted suicide or has died by suicide.  

And that’s why I’m here to tell you: you matter, your mental health matters and your feelings matter.  

I’m here to help you, and I just want to tell you that you are so loved. Your mental health matters. Your life matters.  

According to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, National Suicide Prevention Month is a month where mental health advocates, prevention, organizations, survivors, allies and community members unite as one to promote suicide prevention awareness.  

Some of you might not know the signs of when someone needs help or the resources that are available to help.  

How to know if a loved one needs your help?

If they are talking about wanting to die or killing themselves, please offer them help. They might be feeling hopeless and saying they have no reason to live or even saying they are a burden to others.

An increase in drug and alcohol usage is a reason to question a loved one’s mental health as well. If a loved one acts anxious or agitated, acts in a reckless way, is sleeping too much or too little — ask them about it. Ask if they are okay or need help. Another sign of needing to get help is extreme mood swings or isolating themselves from others. If you notice any of these behaviors, you should reach out to them or find some resources for them.  

Resources for help

If an individual at NDSU would like to get help, the NDSU Counseling Center is available at no additional charge. To schedule a consultation, the number is (701-231-7671). 

Services available at the Counseling Center include individual and group counseling, support groups, workshops and classes, psychiatric services, phototherapy and assessment services. Their school hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Helping others

Once you know this individual got help, make sure to reach out. 

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline says, “Research shows that people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks after them in a caring way.” Just by checking on a friend and listening to them might save a life. Sometimes all we need is a listening ear.  

“No matter what you are going through, you are not alone. It will get better.” 

“Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgement,” says the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. After listening to a friend talk about their mental health, we need to stay connected with them.  

By staying connected, individuals can have a variety of resources for support and safety, as well as taking steps to create positive feelings and more hopefulness overall. Once an individual who is struggling with thoughts of suicide has help or is connected to resources, be sure to check on them, ask them how they are feeling and remind them they are loved.  

Taking care of yourself

While helping others is important, be sure to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.  

To take care of yourself, make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, eating a balanced diet including rich, green vegetables, fruits, protein and grains. Diet has an impact on not only your physical health, but also your mental health.

Practicing mindfulness will be super beneficial to your mental health. What is your “YEAH moment” of the day? A YEAH moment could be anything that made you happy to be alive, something good that happened to you that day or something that kept your spirits up. Writing down your YEAH moments might make you feel happy to be alive. 

Do you need to take a little break and get some alone time? What are the thoughts that are going on in your head? Write them down in a journal. And if you are struggling with all the thoughts that are going through your head, talk to someone you trust.  

By talking to someone you trust about your thoughts, having a balanced diet, daily exercise or movement and plenty of sleep, you should be on the right track.  

No matter what you are going through, you are not alone. It will get better. 

A friend would much rather listen to you and your struggles than see you hurting. Take care of yourself and reach out if you need help. 

Friends, pay attention to those you love, you never know when someone might be struggling. You matter. You’re so loved. Smooth sailing is coming your way.

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