September is National Suicide Prevention Month, when individuals and organizations unite to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our teams and members are equipped with the necessary resources to understand, recognize, and address mental health challenges.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a leading agency in the U.S. that provides a wealth of free resources for promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention. If you’re looking to share valuable information with your team and members, here are some of the top resources you can utilize:
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, it provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline comprises a national network of over 200 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices (English or Spanish).
- SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC): SPRC offers a variety of resources, including training programs, webinars, and fact sheets that can be shared with your team and members. These resources help organizations develop strategies and programs to prevent suicide.
- 988 Toolkit: This is a one-stop shop for social media, video, print, radio, FAQs, messaging, and other marketing materials for anyone to use to promote awareness of 988. It is encouraged to take any items within the Toolkit and use them as a starting or finishing point towards promoting the 988 Lifeline.
- #BeThe1To Campaign: This is a national campaign that encourages individuals to be the one to help someone in crisis. The campaign provides five actionable steps to help someone in crisis, which can be shared and promoted within your credit union.
- SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator: This online tool helps individuals find treatment facilities for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems. Sharing this tool with your members can give them a quick way to seek help if they or someone they know is in need.
Additionally, there are many ways your credit union can help promote National Suicide Prevention Month and mental health alike.
- Host awareness events: Organize webinars, workshops, or seminars on mental health and suicide prevention. Invite experts to speak and share their insights.
- Share resources: Use your credit union’s communication channels, such as newsletters, emails, and social media, to share SAMHSA’s resources and other relevant information.
- Create a supportive environment: Encourage open conversations about mental health within your team. Ensure that your members know that the credit union is a safe space where they can seek help and resources.
- Partner with local organizations: Collaborate with local mental health organizations or clinics to provide additional resources and support to your members.
By leveraging these resources, credit unions can play a pivotal role in promoting mental well-being and preventing suicide within their communities. Remember, every conversation, every shared resource, and every supportive gesture can make a difference in someone’s life.