Local mental health organizations share resources and support for National Suicide Prevention Month

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (WAVY) – We all know life isn’t always easy sometimes. The stress of the pandemic, as well as other events along the way, can be particularly difficult for people.

The Virginia Coastal Chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, wants people to know that they are not alone and that there are resources in the community to help them. This month, they are focusing on an incredibly difficult topic: suicide.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. On average, 132 people kill themselves every day in the United States. Of these, nearly 19% are high school students. Almost 12% are young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

“Truly an important month because it is such a problem in our country,” said Susannah Uroskie, President of NAMI Coastal Virginia.

Uroskie knows full well how difficult it can be to help a loved one with mental illness after her daughter has suffered from mania and depression.

“Mental illness, serious mental illness, it’s really – I’m choking now – it’s really hard,” Uroskie said. “So I would say a little compassion, empathy, just trying to understand better, educating yourself. “

With the pandemic, mental health is an even bigger issue, which is why NAMI Coastal Virginia is trying to raise awareness of the support and education they offer.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in office calls, people just want to know what I can do for my loved one,” Uroskie said. “The isolation that you don’t have that connection in person, whether it’s just to see your friends or even you know in the office, see your coworkers. It can really affect everyone’s mental health.

Uroskie says it’s important to take care of your children, especially since school resumes in the midst of a pandemic.

For more information on the programs, events, presentations and support groups offered by NAMI, click on here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call Suicide prevention line at 1-800-273-TALK.

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