COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio mental health specialists are reminding everyone you are not alone.
The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation says one of the best ways to prevent suicide is to understand the signs and remind your loved ones you’re there for support.
Executive Director Tony Coder said their goal is simple — save lives.
“We also have community coalitions that folks reach out to, we have a loss survivor resource guide that we try to send to any survivor,” Coder said.
Coder added the first step to helping a loved one is understanding the signs.
“If someone is not present that is normally present, if they are being withdrawn, if you are seeing signs that really concern you, helping folks to understand those things and being proactive to reaching out to that person and saying ‘Hey I’m here for you,’” Coder said.
Next is taking those signs seriously. Coder said there is often a stigma around asking for help or going to see a therapist. He said that needs to end and mental health should be treated like any other health condition.
“Really we should be thinking of this as a medical condition just the same way as if you would break an arm,” he said. “You go to the doctor, you get the care that you need, the healing that you need, the same thing should be done with mental health.”
He said the next step is guiding them towards help. Beginning July 16, the National Suicide Prevention lifeline will be 988, which you can call or text at any time.
You can also call the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Plus, they have a number of coalitions available across the state that will help connect those in need to a professional therapist or support groups who understand what you are going through.
There is also a Franklin County suicide prevention coalition. Coder said OSPF also offers loss support teams and survivor loss resources.
“There are loss teams that we work with and those are folks who have lost loved ones to suicide that folks can reach out to and connect with that understand better than anybody else what that loss is like,” Coder said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741. Beginning July 16, dial or text 988.