Thankfully we live in a community where people care and support one another. However, we don’t always know how to help those around us before and when they are struggling with stressful or traumatic events, substance abuse, depression or other mental illnesses that could lead to suicide. You can help by being a source of strength to those around you whether they are family members, friends, co-workers or strangers.
Here are several ways you can help:
Get involved in the local Sources of Strength program by contacting Linda at Joel’s Place at 452-2621 or visiting our local efforts at fairbanksstrong.com. Sources of Strength is a nationally renowned program is a positive, hopeful way to build resiliency in our teens against suicide and related risk factors through adult advisors and teen peer leaders.
Improve your general wellness and encourage it in others. Wellness includes all three elements of mind, body and spirit and builds resiliency so we are better prepared for life’s struggles. Some examples:
- Participate in sports with a friend or family member
- Learn a new hobby like painting
- Practice gratitude
- Volunteer with a community organization
- Let your family or friend know how much they mean to you by writing a letter, drawing a picture, or telling them face-to-face.
- Be a positive friend by focusing on and sharing the positives in your life and your friends’ lives.
- Mentor a child by serving as a Big Brother or Big Sister.
- Mentor a co-worker with less experience by sharing your knowledge.
- Learn how to be a QPR (Question, Persuade & Refer) Gatekeeper. This 2-hour training will equip you, no matter who you are, with the tools to assist those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide. Just like CPR, QPR can save a life. To sign up, simply send an email to Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call the Careline if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or just needs to talk to someone. This Alaskan source of strength is always there for all of us. Simply call 877-266-HELP or text 4help to 839863.