ST. CLOUD -- September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

All month long, mental health care organizations, survivors and community members unite to help promote suicide prevention awareness.

Lisa Bershok is the Suicide Prevention Program Manager at CentraCare. She says by starting the conversation, you reduce someone's chances of self-harm.

If you are concerned about somebody, for what ever reason, they feel down, hopeless or trapped. Often times the only way to know for certain if someone is having suicidal thoughts is to be comfortable enough to ask them directly.

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Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention.

Bershok says often times people are afraid to talk about suicide to their friends or family because of the stigma's surrounding the subject.

If I talk to anyone about this they are going to think I'm crazy. If we can move past and amplify those myths, we create safe opportunities for people to feel comfortable talking about it and allow us to connect them with the supports within our community.

Bershok says while we have made progress in suicide prevention, and more survivors are sharing their stories, there is still more work to be done.

If you would like to learn more about how you can prevent suicide, there are several local events being held this month.

 

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