This inspiring blog comes from Katie Curtis, Foundation 2’s Chief Development Officer. You can connect with Katie here.
Today is my one year (and ten day) anniversary at Foundation 2. Even though I have worked in the mental health field for all of my professional career talking about suicide was hard for me when I started at Foundation 2. It’s a sensitive subject and one which has so much associated stigma. It was particularly hard when I had to give a United Way Campaign speech last year in Mount Vernon, my alma mater, a community that knows all too well about how devastating suicide is.
A year later, I’m confident to have hard conversations about suicide thanks to some great training. Here are a few other of my top takeaways and ah-ha moments:
- Are you concerned about someone? ASK THEM IF THEY ARE FEELING SUICIDAL. It is hard but it is SO important.
- Are you unsure of how to start a conversation with someone you are concerned about? The crisis line 319-362-2174 is an excellent resource for you to ask questions and explore options for someone you care about.
- People who are the highest risk to die by suicide are middle-aged, white, males. Check on these people do not assume they are OK.
- Freshman in high school are twice as likely to die by suicide as their senior counterparts.
- Crisis does not discriminate.
- Maybe most importantly, people are GOOD! Like the gentleman who brings in his donations, in person, and thanks our counselors for their critical work. He always tells us he donates so if his grandchildren ever needed our services we would be there to pick up the phone…my heart!
I am grateful to work for an agency who provides trusted, high quality services. I confidently would recommend Foundation 2 services to anyone I love and I am so proud to say that. September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Everyone play a role in suicide prevention. Consider what you can do to support someone in need!