Group focuses on raising suicide awareness

WILLISTON — The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI VT) is leading the fight to address suicide and mental illness throughout the state of Vermont and raise awareness of the effects of mental illness on individuals and communities. September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness, and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to appropriate treatment and services. It is important to ensure that individuals, friends, and families have access to the resources they need to address suicide prevention.
Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions that affect people when they are most vulnerable. Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently, but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues. In many cases the individuals, friends, and families affected by suicide are left in darkness, feeling shame or stigma that prevents talking openly about issues that can be precursors to suicide.
These issues are important to address year-round. Highlighting these issues during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and World Suicide Prevention Day provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the millions of Americans who can benefit from honest discussion about mental health conditions and suicide. There is still much more that needs to be done in fighting for those living with mental illness, and more ways to get involved.
Resources that you can utilize if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide include:
•  Crisis Text Line: text “VT” to 741741.
•  Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 or 1-800-273-TALK.
•  Professional Counseling or Therapy.
•  Peer Support.
•  Connection Peer Support Groups — Bennington, Berlin, Burlington, Rutland, St. Johnsbury.
•  NAMI Vermont Guidebook: namivt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NAMI-Vermont-Guidebook-2017-03.pdf
NAMI Vermont is hosting its largest annual fundraising event, the NAMI “Mind Walk” in Burlington’s City Hall Park on Sept. 24, beginning at 1 p.m. Staff and volunteers will be available to answer questions and talk more about what NAMI can offer you and your family at this fun event.
The event will include shared stories from individuals with lived experience of mental illness, and share thoughts on mental health policies in the Green Mountain State. 

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