LACONIA — September is National Suicide Prevention Month. The Lakes Region Mental Health Center offers the following actions recommended by Suicide Prevention Lifeline when concerned that someone is considering suicide:

Ask. Research shows acknowledging and talking about suicide with people who are considering it helps reduce the threat of suicide and suicidal ideation. Ask how they feel, if they are considering self-harm or suicide.

Be there. People are likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, and more hopeful when they know someone is there to listen without passing judgment.

Keep them safe. Studies have shown that when access to lethal means is removed, suicide rates decline.

Help them stay connected. Helping someone at risk develop a network of resources and caring people can help reduce feelings of hopelessness.

Follow up. Brief, low-cost and ongoing, supportive intervention is an important part of suicide prevention, especially after someone is discharged from a hospital or care service.

LRMHC aims to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse illnesses, so that everyone who needs treatment will ask for it when they need it. Participating in a conversation with someone who is feeling down, depressed or hopeless will help be part of the solution. Use #BeThe1To on social media to share these suggested actions.

The Lakes Region Mental Health Center’s 24/7 emergency crisis line is available and free at 603-528-0305. Clinicians have experience handling many types of crisis situations.

For more information, call 603-524-1100 or visit lrmhc.org.

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