September is Suicide Prevention Month. This year, there are a lot of us feeling anxious and hopeless because of uncertainties related to the pandemic and other challenges we are facing as individuals and communities. If we can talk about those feelings, rely on our support networks, use coping strategies and find a more positive perspective, we can move past those hopeless feelings. 

The tips below are a great place to start. 

Worried about a friend? Visit Seize the Awkward for signs a friend might be struggling and tips for reaching out and offering support. 

If stress, anxiety, fear, loneliness or sadness is interfering with your ability to sleep, connect with friends or family members, or complete essential tasks, it’s time to reach out for help. Asking for support is a sign of strength and an important part of getting through the difficult days.

If you or someone you know needs help immediately, text START to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK 2355 for a free, confidential chat with a trained counselor 24/7.

Lean Into Your Feelings

Ignoring difficult feelings like hopelessness rarely helps us feel better. We need to acknowledge and talk about those feelings so we can accept them, learn from them or find ways to change them. Journaling is a daily practice that can help us lean in to the challenging feelings we are experiencing. If you aren’t comfortable talking to a friend or family member, check out the resources below. 

Activate Your Support Network

A strong support network isn’t about having a ton of friends, it’s having one or two people who you can talk openly and honestly with about emotional struggles or feeling hopeless. Take a minute to think about who those people are for you, and then make a commitment to reach out to them if you’re having a hard time. Also, pay attention to signs that someone who relies on you might be struggling.

Find Coping Strategies

Uncertainty or stressful situations can contribute to feelings of hopelessness. Find strategies for coping with these feelings. Ideas include meditation, yoga, exercise, listening to music, journaling or creative projects. Carve out time in your schedule for these activities and to focus on your mental health. Here are some coping strategy suggestions. 

Keep a Positive Perspective

Research has shown that our perspective can impact our physical and mental health. If we’re constantly telling ourselves that things won’t get better, we’ll start to believe it. Try and interact more with people, messages and content that make you feel hopeful. 

 

HAVE A FREE, CONFIDENTIAL CHAT WITH A TRAINED COUNSELOR 24/7

  • The trained team at Crisis Text Line are there if you or someone you know are struggling with anxiety, depression, concerns about overuse of drugs or alcohol, hopelessness, abuse or thoughts of suicide. Simply text START to 741-741 anytime to start your live, confidential chat. 
  • Need to talk to someone now? The Lifeline has trained counselors available 24/7 if you’re worried about yourself or a friend. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) anytime to get started. 
  • The Trevor Project offers a national 24-hour, toll free, confidential support line for LGBTQ youth. If you’re feeling hopeless or struggling because of issues related to your sexuality, discrimination or note being accepted by friends or family members, you can connect with a counselor via phone, chat or text. Learn more. 

SCHEDULE A TELE-THERAPY SESSION WITH A COUNSELOR

  • If you are currently working with a therapist or counselor, many are offering to do sessions via phone or video chat. Reach out to your mental health professional to learn more. Here are some tips for getting the most out of teletherapy.
  • There are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) across the country that provide mental health services and many are now offering tele-counseling. They will help you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. Use the health center locator tool to search for a health center by address, state, or county. 

  • There are a number of established online therapy platforms where you can pay a weekly or monthly fee for access to a therapist via phone, messaging or video chat. Talk Space offers packages starting at $65 a week (Get $65 off with code APPLY65) and BetterHelp offers packages from $40 to $70 per week. 

If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time coping during this time of uncertainty, it’s important to reach out for support. Text START to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (2355) for a free, confidential chat with a trained counselor 24/7.