DO

Raising awareness, advocating for change, and practicing self-care are all ways you can DO something to prevent suicide.

Raise awareness

Look up what organizations are in your community working toward suicide prevention. Some members of the National Council for Suicide Prevention may have working groups in your area that you can get involved with, or there may be an opportunity for you to start one in your community. Use the Take 5 Toolkit to spread the word about suicide prevention and Take 5. 

  • ​In your school

  • Within your faith community

  • At your workplace 

Get involved with one of the founding members of the Take 5 to Save Lives campaign!​

Advocate for change

Make your voice heard! Get involved by supporting legislation at any level relating to mental health and suicide prevention. Start by researching mental health and suicide prevention policy issues that you care about. Next, organize with local community groups or meet with your lawmakers to explain why mental health and suicide prevention policy matters to you. 

Learn more about current US mental health legislation and resource here.

Volunteer

Volunteers are the backbone of many nonprofit organizations! Volunteer your time by helping with events or providing administration support to your favorite mental health and suicide nonprofits. Not only will you feel a sense of pride in giving back, but it’s also good for your own mental health.  

Get involved with one of the founding members of the Take 5 to Save Lives campaign!​

Practice self-care

Practicing self-care techniques help relieve stress and feel our best. Self-care refers to activities that can be done to ensure physical and mental fitness. Self-care is necessary and important part of every individual's overall health. Let's take a look at the top 10 self-care activities. 

1. Practice good emotional hygiene 

Aborda el patiment emocional:

Sigues conscient de quines experiències et causen patiment. Algunes de les emocions que poden indicar patiment emocional inclouen  sentiments d’ira, rebuig, fracàs i dolor.  Tot i que no sempre podem controlar la causa del nostre patiment emocional PODEM aplicar tècniques per a tractar-lo. Deixar que el patiment emocional perduri pot portar a la depressió i a altres problemes de salut mental.

Mira de mantenir  la teva autoestima

L’autoestima o nivell de confiança que es té que s’aconseguiran els propis objectius, té una qualitat protectora important pel nostre benestar mental. Són les lents a través de les quals mirem la nostra vàlua dia a dia i que pot afectar com responem a diferents situacions. Evita deixar que la teva autoestima trontolli després d’una experiència de fracàs o rebuig.  Practica L’autocompassió! Si deixem que circumstàncies negatives de la vida deteriorin la nostra autoestima podríem qüestionar-nos la nostra vàlua, fent-nos dubtar erròniament de nosaltres mateixos i impedint-nos aprofitar les oportunitats de la vida pel risc de fracassar de nou.

Evita pensaments negatius repetitius

Trenca amb els pensaments repetitius sobre aquells esdeveniments negatius o que t’amoïnen trobant una distracció positiva. Fes quelcom que requereixi concentració perquè t’ajudarà a prevenir rumiar en aquelles situacions que estaven fora del teu control en el passat.  Els cicles de pensaments negatius repetitius poden portar a la depressió i a altres condicions mèdiques com són les malalties cardíaques.

2. Make time for friends and family

Loneliness and feelings of disconnectedness are serious threats to our mental health. Carve out enough time to regularly connect with a friend or family member, even if all you can manage is a phone call or video chat session. Engaging in social activities like a book club or group gym class can also have a positive effect on your mental health. Your social connectedness can prevent you from becoming depressed.

3. Make time for yourself 

Just as we need time with friends and family, we also need time of solitude to be alone with our own individual thoughts and feelings. Use your time alone to check in with yourself or reflect on a personal experience. Use your time of solitude to destress from the chaos of life. Engage in activities that you enjoy doing alone like gardening, reading a good book, going to the movies, or cooking. There are many ways to find peace and quiet for yourself. Take time each day for yourself, even it's only a few minutes. It's not selfish, it's vital. 

4. Nourish your body with healthy food

Not only does eating healthy and nutrient rich foods help keep your body in good working order, eating healthy can also positively affect your mood. Follow these three main guidelines to increase your energy and boost your overall wellness:

  1. Eat plenty of whole foods- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and reduced fat dairy products

  2. Get your protein- lean meat, eggs, fish, beans and nuts

  3. Limit the amount of sugar, salt, and saturated fat, and trans fats you consume. These are abundant in processed foods. 

  4. ​Caffeine and alcohol can worsen or trigger anxiety. It’s best to drink water to stay clear, focused, and hydrated!

5. Get enough sleep

Doctors recommend getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to help us perform optimally at our everyday lives. In fact, lack of sleep due to stress or other issues can lead to serious health problems. Here is a short list of tips for getting some much needed shut-eye.

  • Set a bedtime that you stick to most nights. You body loves consistency when it comes to sleep!

  • Turn off the screens one hour before bed. Use this time to relax away from the stimulants and prepare your body for sleep. 

  • Try to de-stress before bed. Many hours of sleep are lost to restless minds preoccupied with work or other stressful events. Meditate, do some light stretching, listen to soothing music quietly, take a hot shower or bath. Find what works best to put you at ease and in a restful state. 

  • Exercise earlier in the day can help prepare you for restful sleep. However, avoid rigorous exercise right before bed.

 

6. Move your body 

To maintain your physical health, it’s currently recommended to get your body moving and keep your heart rate elevated for at least 150 minutes per week or to get 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. And of course, exercise has other great benefits like boosting your energy, improving your mood, and helping you fall asleep.

  • Have limited mobility? Check out some exercises that may work for you!

  • If you are new to regular exercise, consult with your doctor before beginning a vigorous exercise routine. Always start slow and build up your capacity slowly to avoid injury.

7. Help others

Sometimes the best feelings come from helping others. Volunteer at your local food bank or soup kitchen, offer to help a friend or family member who may need your support, or donate to your favorite charity.

8. Manage your stress

Stress is the body’s way of responding to the mental and physical demands of life. Common stressors (events or situations that cause stress) include daily responsibilities and commitments like work, school, and family. Often cause for moderate to high stress situations include traumatic events, the loss of a loved one, illness or another event that significantly alters your life. Every-day stress, or short term (acute) stress, can motivate us to focus on tasks, set and accomplish personal and professional goals, and can even boost our immune systems and protect us from infection. Conversely, long-term (chronic) stress is the stress of life that wears on for weeks, months, or even years. Chronic stress can have harmful effects on our physical and mental health and can contribute to or worsen serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes and increase risk for mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders. This is why it’s important to learn and implement stress management strategies to prevent chronic stress.

 

Steps you can take right now:

  1. Identify your stressors (things that stress you out). Grab a pen and paper. Write a list and designate which stressors you CAN control and which you CANNOT control.

  2. Find solutions- for the stressors you can control, write out a couple ways you can alleviate or remove those stressors. For the stressors you cannot control, know that you CAN control how you react to it. Imagine a scenario where you react differently to a negative stressor- does the situation work out for the better in your mind? Try it in real life. Remember, you don't have to find solutions alone. Therapists are trained in helping you find tools to managing your stress.

9. Manage other medical or physical problems

Are you taking care of your medical needs? In times of bad or negative stress or after a major life event, remember to pay attention to your body. Mental and physical health are deeply interconnected, and it’s important to deal with any health issues that may be holding you back. If health issues are a major life stressor or a factor of your depression, consider seeing a therapist who may help you adjust to your new physical reality. 

10. Ask for help 

You don't have to do anything in life alone. If you're having trouble caring for yourself for any reason, reach out. Your primary care doctor can provide referrals to therapists or other physicians that can address whatever may be ailing you. Your family and friends can provide support and empathy. 

Did you complete this step? Let us know!

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