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Our Grief & Loss Services counselors offer words of encouragement this week as we find ways to stay connected.

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week reminds us that there are things we can do to safeguard our mental well-being and to be aware of the warning signs of extreme distress in others. Most importantly, this week we remember that we are not alone.

Grief is an expression of loss and many of us are experiencing the changes and isolation of social distancing as deep losses. Additionally, the uncertainty of societal changes may have us feeling off balance and disconnected because our normal routines and familiar interactions have been interrupted. Our connections with each other may feel fragile. If you are feeling sorrow and grief you are not alone!  Reach out to those in your life to check on them and for support for yourself. Find ways to interact with others on a daily basis, whenever possible. Many social and support groups are now available online and by phone. Connecting with others is beneficial for us and for them.

Experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings is far beyond “normal” sadness. If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts or feelings, please reach out for help immediately.

If you are concerned about someone being at risk for suicide the American Federation for Suicide Prevention recommends the following actions:

Have an honest conversation:

  1. Talk to them in private
  2. Listen to their story
  3. Tell them you care about them
  4. Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide
  5. Encourage them to seek treatment or contact their doctor or therapist
  6. Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice

If someone says that they are considering suicide: