Health & Wellness Newsletter – Suicide Awareness Month
September 26, 2023
As September comes to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the significance of Suicide Awareness Month and the impact it has had on our collective understanding of mental health. Suicide affects individuals, families, and communities in profound ways. It’s a complex issue that thrives in silence but dwindles in the presence of understanding, empathy, and open dialogue. Suicide Awareness Month serves as an important reminder of the urgency to break the stigma, offer support, and save lives.
Throughout this newsletter, we will be highlighting resources on the importance of suicide awareness and mental wellness. By raising awareness and fostering empathy, we can contribute to a world where mental health is prioritized, and no one feels alone in their struggle.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or harm, help is available. Call or text 988.
In 2020, over 11 million Indigenous people resided in the United
States and its territories. Colonization’s historical impacts,
including war, slavery, boarding schools, land theft, diseases,
and racism, have caused lasting traumas. Today, colonization
persists through land and water management practices that
prioritize economic interests, harming Indigenous lands and food
security. Non-Indigenous land management contributes to species
and ecosystem decline, threatening Indigenous well-being and
limiting subsistence and food security.
ChildTrends’s article explores 5 ways that subsistence practices
support Indigenous child and family well-being. Indigenous
Peoples cherish subsistence as a sacred, holistic way of life,
embracing spirituality, ancestral connections, and environmental
stewardship for their overall well-being.
Parents, caregivers, and school personnel can make a positive impact by educating young people about mental health and modeling healthy social media use. Mental Health America has created a Back to School Toolkit to help youth and those who care for them navigate virtual spaces.
Let’s remain mindful of our water usage! The potential impact of extreme weather on our state’s water supply is a 10% reduction by 2040. It’s crucial that we unite to reshape our perspective on water usage. Implementing small steps today can make a significant difference in conserving water. Check out the #SaveOurWater campaign’s toolkit, packed with valuable resources and activities that can inspire a change in your water consumption habits.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 19 and the second leading cause among youth ages 10 to 14. Child Trend’s brief Addressing Discrimination Supports Youth Suicide Prevention Efforts outlines nationwide surveys’ trends in youth suicide risk, emphasizes the differences in suicide attempts across various states, and presents results from an assessment of state suicide prevention strategies to evaluate their consideration of discrimination as a youth suicide risk factor.
The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley has created a lesson plan on fostering growth mindsets in students. If students embrace the idea that everyone, including themselves, possesses the capacity to grow and change, it becomes more likely that they will view social challenges like harassment, bullying, and exclusion as obstacles they can overcome. Adopting a more adaptable, growth-oriented mindset can help some of the anxieties and pressures students may face, enabling them to approach social problems as challenges to be resolved rather than threats to be feared.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Kohl’s Healthy at Home have collaborated to create a 10-minute learning activity on how to self-awareness when challenging emotions arise. Our collective well-being and resilience are enhanced when we can recognize, express, and effectively handle our emotions within our closest relationships.
The Office of the California Surgeon General has created a playbook that provides tools for caregivers to recognize and manage kids’ stress. This playbook has been translated into 8 languages which can be accessed on the OSG website.
Everyone can celebrate National Farm to School Month this October! The theme for this year is “Rooted in Community: Growing Stronger, Together“.
Explore these resources from the National Farm to School Network so you can celebrate in your program!
Established in 1989, National Recovery Month is an annual nationwide event taking place throughout September. Its purpose is to advocate for and endorse emerging evidence-based treatment and recovery approaches, celebrate the resilient and proud recovery community across the nation, and recognize the unwavering commitment of service providers and communities that facilitate recovery in all the ways possible. Explore these resources from SAMHSA on National Recovery Month.
Equitable terminology involves intentionally choosing words that foster inclusiveness and respect, all while taking into account both who is being included and who might be excluded from the discussion. Explore the principles SAMHSA has laid out that will be the foundation for their forthcoming Health Equity Terminology guide.
Adolescents are always at the forefront of societal change. Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) are often tackling these developmental tasks with the added challenges of discrimination and victimization from their communities, schools, peers, and even families. The Center for the Developing Adolescent offers a list of resources for how to support the young people in your life.