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September is suicide prevention month

September is suicide prevention month and suicide can be a scary topic, but experts tell us it shouldn’t be feared. Suicide can be prevented and the resources for help are abundant.

"We need everyone to understand that addiction, that mental health issues, that the thoughts of taking our lives are all sort of a part of a process that happens to so many people. It's not anybody's individual fault or lack of good choices or that they're bad people. It's something that happens to us psychologically”, Sheri Johnson, a director of field education in the Department of Social work at HSU, said.

Any number of factors can lead to suicidal thoughts, but every person is different.

I think one important thing to know is that for each individual, because we're all unique, it's really going to depend on what meaning an individual gives to certain events in their life, Kris Huschle, a Health Education Specialist with DHHS, said.

Even factors like weather can play a part in one's mental health. 

“If you're used to having more sun or used to having a kind of weather, it's having to experience the unknown and the different. And coupled with a lot of stress and a lot of loneliness, that can create a circumstance that makes us feel pretty hopeless,” Johnson said.

But what's most important is that suicide can be prevented, and that's what the month of September is all about

Suicide is both preventable and treatable and there are resources available nationally and locally in Humboldt County. For HSU students, the health center offers 24-hour a day walk-in services. Other local services include the Humboldt County Mental Health 24-hour crisis line, the North Coast Association of Mental Health Professionals, and the North Coast Rape Crisis Team.

“It's so important that we ask, we listen, and we show that we care and help them access resources,” Huschle said.