September marks National Suicide Prevention Month, to bring awareness to the warning signs of suicide and to the resources available to prevent it.

Hope Services wants to end the stigma surrounding talking about suicide. We also want to provide people with resources necessary to prevent death by suicide. Let’s change the language we use and not place blame on those with a mental illness. Unfortunately, people die by suicide every day because of mental illness and because of situational stressors, that they just don’t see a way out.

Here some warning signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Searching online for a way to kill themselves
  • Talking about revenge or showing rage
  • Talking about being a burden to other people
  • Increasing use of alcohol and drugs
  • Talking about being hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Acting anxious, agitated or behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Mood swings
  • Isolating themselves

If you or a loved one needs help, there are both local and national hotlines as well as walk in centers 24/7, 365 days a year. National Suicide Hotline: 1(800) 273-8255

On a personal note, my grandfather, Charles N. Huggins, Sr. died by suicide at a fairly young age. He lived in an age where admitting you had a mental illness was not accepted by society. My Father, Charles N. Huggins Jr. had to live with the stigma of his father dying by suicide and had a hidden mental illness. This was not ever talked about in my family because of the embarrassment, shame and stigma it created for the Huggins family. I have made a commitment to help breakdown the stigma barriers that prevented my Grandfather and many needing mental health services from getting them.
In 2011, I started an anti-mental health stigma campaign with a fundraiser put on by NAMI and Caminar for Mental Health, introducing Doris and Warren Buffett’s new book. In part, it spoke about their grandmother’s and mother’s mental illnesses.

This was the first in a series of eleven event’s called In Concert with Caminar (and Hope), where prominent musicians talked about their mental illness or a family members challenges with a mental health condition. This is an attempt to normalize mental conditions and help those in need to get the services they need and deserve.

Warm wishes,

Charles “Chip” Huggins, JD