Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention. The 2019 Kansas Summary of Vital Statistics reported 521 deaths by suicide in the state of Kansas and that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people of ages 15 – 34 years. With the firm belief that suicide is a preventable public health concern, we are calling on all Kansans to reach out to those they know between the ages of 15 and 34 and do a “check in”.
“What we know is that the greatest protection that people have from acting on thoughts of suicide is strong connections with other people, and having compassionate, caring, and respectful contact with people helps to build those connections.”
-Monica Kurz, KS Suicide Prevention HQ
To promote making connections that will create the social support needed to help reduce the risk of suicidal behavior. To help dismantle the stigma held against both youth and adults who seek mental health services. To relieve the feeling of shame, guilt, and isolation of those dealing with depression or thoughts of suicide by normalizing the conversation.
Below are downloadable graphics, including ones specific to certain target audiences, as well as links to depression and suicide data across the state. These assets will help you share the “Check In” campaign and messaging within your local communities. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #CheckinKS in your posts on social media, too.
Three ways … Call, text or chat, and visit.
Recognize the signs.
Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
Talking about being a burden to others.
Spending more time alone or isolating.
Withdrawing from social activities.
Increased agitated, anxious, sad, or angry mood.
For more warning signs,
“Check In” Say Hello, Hi, What’s Up, Hola, Xin chào, etc. (you may use other languages)
Don’t hesitate to seek clarification and ask for specifics when you have concerns. Ask the question: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
“The thing that we do know very straightforwardly is that it is very safe to ask the question. You will not put someone at risk by asking about suicide.”
-Monica Kurz, Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ.
Listen: People are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.
Studies indicate that helping someone at risk create a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help them take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org (It also offers a chat feature) Phone: 1-800-273-8255
The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.
Help them make a safety plan.
A safety plan is a written list of coping strategies and sources of support for people who are at elevated risk of suicide. The strategies found in their customized safety plan can be used before or during a suicidal crisis. https://my3app.org/safety-planning/
The world of gaming is growing and through it you can make friends from all over the world. Sometimes the chat features on these games can get exciting and aggressive. During the month of September, we are asking that you to use your chat to “check in” before or during the game to make sure your team, opponents and/or friends are doing okay.
Why Check in?
What should I do if I see someone posting about suicide or self-harm in chat
Do this on the regular! Encourage your team, party, opponents, or friends to take care of their mental health:
Farm life has unique challenges. The weather, costly repairs, injuries, and other unpleasant surprises can upend even the most careful production plan. This can take a great toll on the mental health of those that love to work on the land and create the food that we enjoy eating. So, during the month of September, we are encouraging all those that work with, provide services for and/or know a farmer to “check in.”
Why Check in? Death by Suicide is preventable!
What Can You Do?
Normal life issues can be heightened by the unique experiences of those who are serving and have served in military services. Those who have carried the burden to protect this country in many places all over the world face many mental health challenges. That is why during the month of September we emphasizing all who work with and/or know a service member, veteran, or someone in their family to “check in.”
Here are some points in a veteran or service member’s life when they can feel especially alone, agitated, or anxious:
Why Check in? Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention.
What Can You Do?
Gamers (people who play video games)
Gamer and Online Harassment Hotline
Farmers (people who farm or produce)
Kansas Ag Stress Resources
Farmer Veteran Coalition for Farmers who are Veterans
Rural Health Information Hub – Kansas Resources
Service Members, Veterans & Families (SMVF)
Chat Online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat
Live Connected Kansas
Make The Connection
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The 2021 Kansas Suicide Prevention Awareness “Check In” Campaign is a collaborative effort of Kansas Department for Aging and Disabilities Services (KDADS), Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ (KSPHQ), Kansas Prevention Collaborative, and Prevention Initiatives at Wichita State University’s Community Engagement Institute.