R U OK? Day

A convoy of four taxicab yellow vehicles will be arriving in a city near you. Each is painted with a step to increase suicide prevention awareness.You will only see them, however, if you live on the continent of Australia.

I have chosen this week to share these four simple steps with you because September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Every year 800,000 people die by suicide somewhere in the world. Up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. Death by Suicide claims more lives than war, murder and natural disaster combined.

So today, September 14, 2017 R U OK? Day

… or any day you notice these warning signs:

  • Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thinking about death
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior

PLEASE: Ask R U OK?

Listen.
Encourage Action.
Check-in again.

As Helen Raptis of AMNW related she and her friend were out for a walk and saw a young man standing on a bridge looking like he was going to jump.
1. They calmly stopped and asked : R U OK?
2. They listened as he shook his head “No” then began to talk.
3. He then took action and walked away because her had been
listened to.
4. Helen related this story to her AMNW audience during our conversation: click here to listen.

You may also ask these 3-6 screening questions from the Columbia Lighthouse Project: click here to learn more.

I encourage you to print this simple screening tool, carry it with you, use it, and share it.

Together we can make a difference by simply stopping and connecting with the question: Are Your OK?

P.S. Thanks to each of you for your reply last week and for lighting your candle Sunday evening at 8 p.m.

P.P.S Ready for your life to get easier on September 30th? You’re trying to help your aging parents…. and balance all you’re doing for them being a wife, mom, professional, friends, volunteer and all the other roles you’re constantly juggling… Click here to join us.

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