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Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Writer's pictureTerri K. Lankford, LPCS

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day: A Holistic Lens on Suicide Prevention


International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, observed annually on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving, serves as a foundation for a global community of individuals who have lost loved ones to suicide. Established by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), this day provides a platform for survivors to come together, share their experiences, and find solace in a supportive network. The foundations of this observance lie in fostering healing and understanding, breaking the silence surrounding suicide, and promoting awareness about the unique challenges faced by those left behind. International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day aims to reduce stigma, offer comfort, and build connections among survivors worldwide, emphasizing the importance of compassion and empathy in the journey toward healing.


Suicide is the twelfth leading cause of death across all age groups in America. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in age groups 10-14 and 25-34, and ranked third for ages 15-24. Suicide is not uncommon - 12.3 million people have “seriously thought about suicide” and 1.7 million people have followed through with an attempt. Clearly, suicide is a far-reaching concern in America.


When professionals talk about suicide prevention, many will discuss community support, attendance of mental health counseling, and medication for depression. However, is there a more holistic way to look at suicide prevention that encompasses more than the mental health therapy room? Of course - and the pros at Rise and Thrive Counseling are here to help!


Read on for three elements to help conceptualize suicide prevention in a more holistic lens.


Affordable Housing

Affordable housing serves as a crucial component of suicide prevention by providing stable living conditions and reducing financial stressors, which are significant contributors to mental health challenges. Adequate housing fosters a sense of security and belonging, contributing to an individual's overall well-being and resilience against mental health crises. Check out three non-profit organizations that help advocate for affordable housing in the US:


  1. National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC): NLIHC is dedicated to advocating for policies and programs that ensure affordable and accessible housing for low-income individuals and families, addressing the critical link between housing stability and mental well-being.

  2. Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity focuses on building and renovating homes to provide affordable housing solutions, recognizing the transformative impact stable housing has on individuals and families' mental health.

  3. Enterprise Community Partners: Enterprise Community Partners works to create affordable housing solutions through innovative approaches, promoting community development and advocating for policies that address the intersection of housing and mental health challenges.


Healthcare + Access to Resources

Access to affordable medical care is a fundamental aspect of mental health and suicide prevention, offering individuals the necessary resources for early intervention and ongoing treatment. Affordable healthcare reduces barriers to mental health services, ensuring that individuals can access critical support without financial strain, ultimately contributing to better mental well-being. Take a look at three nonprofits that advocate for affordable and accessible medical care:


  1. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): MSF delivers medical care in crisis situations globally, advocating for universal access to healthcare and recognizing the interconnectedness between physical and mental health in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations.

  2. Partners In Health: Partners In Health works to bring quality healthcare to underserved communities worldwide, emphasizing the significance of comprehensive medical care, including mental health services, in promoting overall well-being and preventing crises.

  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI is a grassroots organization that advocates for improved mental health services, including access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare, to support individuals and families affected by mental illnesses and reduce the risk of suicide.


Identity-Affirming Practices

Identity-affirming practices play a crucial role in mental health and suicide prevention by fostering a supportive environment that recognizes and respects individuals' diverse identities. Affirming practices, such as culturally competent mental health care and the validation of gender and sexual identities, contribute to a sense of belonging and reduce the risk of mental health crises. Here are three nonprofits that support identity-affirming mental health practices:


  1. The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project focuses on providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youth, advocating for identity-affirming practices and fostering a supportive environment that celebrates and validates diverse identities.

  2. GLAAD: GLAAD is committed to promoting fair and accurate representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in media and beyond, working to create a cultural landscape that affirms diverse identities and contributes to positive mental health outcomes.

  3. National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN): NQTTCN is dedicated to advancing mental health support for queer and trans people of color, promoting identity-affirming practices, and fostering a network of culturally competent therapists to address the unique mental health needs within these communities.

We hope this blog post helps create a holistic view of what suicide prevention in America looks like! If you want more holistic help, look no further than Rise and Thrive Counseling. Our holistic counselors can help address all areas of life.. Reach out today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.

 

I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.

 

I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 

 

Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.

 

Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)

 

All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

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