Coming Together During the Holiday Season to Prevent Suicides

To all of you doing this work out in our community,

I have been asked to provide guidance in several organizations during this Holiday Season.

I would like to start a trend in our community when it comes to preventing suicides, “CONNECTIVENESS MATTERS”

Positive and supportive social relationships and community connections can help buffer the effects of suicide risk factors in people’s lives.

Social support and connections are the key protective factors to prevent suicides in our community. Programs and practices which promote social connectiveness and supports are an element of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.

This Holiday Season I would like all of you to promote Connectiveness in activities you embark on during this holiday season, in addition continue it throughout the year as the highest time of the year where we loose community members to suicide are spring time and September.  We get more people help during the holidays because we have broken down some of the taboo and stigma of depression during the holidays.

Connectiveness can include:1

  • Connectiveness between individuals (e.g., friends, neighbors, co-workers)
  • Connectiveness among family members, remember this can be difficult as 75% of our Clark County community members came from somewhere else and hence family might be limited here in Clark County for some.
  • Connectiveness to community organizations (e.g., schools, faith communities)
  • The connection of groups (e.g., minority groups) to their cultural traditions and history

Connectiveness and support can be enhanced through social programs directed at specific groups (such as older adults or LGBT youth), as well as through activities that support the development of positive and supportive communities.

Take Action

  • Support the development of relationships between youth and positive adults in their lives (e.g., teachers, coaches).
  • Build connections among co-workers, connect with individuals who might be isolating themselves.
  • Help build positive attachments between families and organizations in the community (e.g., schools and tribal and faith-based organizations).
  • Increase supportive connections in your social organizations.
  • Create and sustain peer-delivered services and support groups.
  • Implement activities in educational institutions that help students increase and strengthen their social networks and connections.

It’s important to remember that not all social connections are healthy. Suicide prevention programs should promote practices leading to positive and supportive relationships.

 Reference

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Strategic direction for the prevention of suicidal behavior: Promoting individual, family, and community connectedness to prevent suicidal behavior. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/Suicide_Strategic_Direction_Fu….

If you or someone you know is in a crisis and at risk for suicide, please call the National Suicide LifeLine—1-800-273-8255

Richard Egan
Suicide Prevention Training and Outreach Facilitator

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services

Division of Public & Behavioral Health | CFCW-Office of Suicide Prevention

3811 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 210 |Las Vegas, NV  89102
T: (702) 486-8225 |F: (702) 486-5250|E: regan@health.nv.gov

www.dhhs.nv.gov | http://suicideprevention.nv.gov/

Helping People.  It’s who we are and what we do.Find help 24/7 by dialing 2-1-1; texting 898-211; or visiting www.nevada211.org