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Mental Health experts share tips during World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicides Are Often Underreported and Ignored…But Why?
Posted at 11:12 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 02:46:29-04

The month of September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, set to raise awareness and commit to action to prevent suicides.

The topic can often be difficult to have, but mental health conversations with loved ones is important.

"Now more than ever is the time to have the hard conversations even if they make you uncomfortable, it's worth it if it saves a life," Cal Poly Graduate Hannah Borjon said.

Borjon lost a good friend -- Michael Kullman -- to suicide in January of 2019.

Kullman was a Cal Poly student who took his life in January of 2019.

"We had absolutely no signs our son was thriving, vibrant," Cindy Kullman, Michael's mother, said.

Even during challenging times through the pandemic, as many adapt to online lifestyles, health experts say it is crucial to be open to talking about the subject of suicide.

“When we’re not talking about and we’re not checking in with people about it, then that can increase someone’s risk of actually dying by suicide," Transitions-Mental Health Association Nurse Practitioner Julia Tidik said.

Mental health experts say crises can be reduced by picking up the phone and asking for help.

"There's chat functions, so you can just text with someone if that feels more comfortable," Tidik said.

The 24/7 confidential SLO Hotline is 800-783-0607.

The National Suicide Hotline is 800-273-8255.

Beginning in 2022, the number will be a three-digit hotline 9-8-8.

This was approved by the FCC to make it easier for people to seek help in mental health crises.

"That's a really great thing where they're going to have a three digit number the same way we dial 9-1-1 to seek emergency services," Tidik said.

Being proactive, getting additional support and knowing you are not alone are key things to remember for those struggling with mental illness.

"There's way to connect to make sure that these things don't happen," Kullman said.

Transitions-Mental Health Association is holding several events during September in recognition of suicide prevention month.

The 'Talk Saves Lives' event on Sept. 15th will discuss common risk factors and how to stay safe.

For more information on how to register, click here.