Suicide prevention: Open conversation is key

Phototo courtesy Freepik

INDIANAPOLIS — September is National Suicide Prevention Month, which means Hoosiers are talking about ways to prevent it in Indiana.

“We’re often told, at least I was growing up, that maybe if we talk about suicide or if we ask someone if they’re thinking about suicide then we might give them that idea. But we know now from our research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention that that isn’t the case,” said Kelsey Aaron, the Indiana Executive Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Aaron says it’s more important now than ever that people have open and honest conversations about this.

“Us asking them, even if they’re not thinking about suicide, what that signals to them is that they know that they come to us and talk to us if they’re feeling that way or if they know someone who’s feeling that way,” said Aaron.

Aaron says listening to a person who is depressed without judgment, makes means of suicide less available, helps them create a network of people for support and safety, and maintains supportive contact with the person.

Resources to help those things will be available at the Out of the Darkness Walk this Saturday at Military Park in Indianapolis. Check-in for that is at 12:30 pm and the walk is at 3 pm.

“There’s yoga. We’ll have emotional support and therapy dogs there, which is a fan favorite. We’ll also have around 30 different community support resources,” said Aaron.

You can also expect games and activities in a family fun zone along with food trucks and much more.

“Attending these types of walks is a nice way to connect people. A suicide loss can be isolating. We just want to make sure that there people know that there are a lot of suicide loss survivors who want to support one another,” Aaron said.

There are other walks scheduled across the rest of Indiana too in the month of September.

According to the Indiana Youth Institute’s Kids Count Data Book, 27.7% of Indiana students reported seriously considering attempting suicide.

That organization says suicide is the second leading cause of death for kids age 15 to 24 and the fourth leading cause of death for kids age 5 to 14.