September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time when mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. IntraSpectrum Counseling recognizes that suicide and suicidal ideation can be difficult and scary topics to discuss, but that they are critically important. We support improved access, information and treatment options, and encourage us all to think, and spread the word, about actions we can all take to help those in need. Please bookmark this page and check back during the month, as we will post additional advocacy resources and content.
Here are statements from two of our therapists (who specialize in suicidal ideation), on finding help:
Thoughts about death and/or dying are an incredibly common experience. While they can be scary, the best gift you can give yourself is to push through the pain, fear, and shame to tell your therapist, medical provider, or people in your life so they can help you get professional help. Often when I work with clients, they have named feeling fearful that if they say they have been experiencing suicidal thoughts, that I will automatically recommend hospitalization. My job as your therapist when you are feeling suicidal is to keep you safe, support you in managing these thoughts, help you to think creatively (because these kinds of thoughts can ruin our ability to problem solve), and ultimately to help keep you alive. There are a lot of potential steps to managing suicidal ideation before hospitalization is necessary to ensure that you stay alive. All this to say, please don’t suffer in silence and isolation – because people in this world want to be with you and help you.
Dr. Kristin Kazyaka, PhD-L
Therapist, IntraSpectrum Counseling
Suicide has touched my life personally and professionally. My thinking on suicide is that it represents a way of thinking where the only solution to a problem is ending your life. As a therapist, I work to broaden this myopic perspective and help people identify alternative solutions to their problems. If you know of someone who is thinking of ending their life, know that it is not your responsibility to keep them alive, but that you can help them by acknowledging their pain and directing them to resources where their perspective can be broadened. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is one of many helpful resources to know.
Dr. Sebastián Torres, PhD
Therapist, IntraSpectrum Counseling
For more information & support resources, visit the following websites:
The Trevor Project
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. The Trevor Project most recently made news by conducting a 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, and by honoring Grammy Award-Winning Artist and LGBTQ Advocate, Lil Nas X, with their inaugural “Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year” award.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
This national organization offers a wealth of personal stories, connections to community programs, access to national resources & events, and information on practical ways to help those in need, or yourself.
In the Media…
Court Delivers Huge Blow to Conversion Therapy in Major Victory for LGBTQ+ Youth
Conversion therapy is currently banned in 20 states, and organizations like American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) have condemned the practice as harmful and ineffective. LGBTQ+ youth who survive conversion therapy are more than twice as likely to have attempt suicide, according to national youth suicide prevention group The Trevor Project. Transgender and nonbinary youth reported experiencing conversion therapy at more than twice the rate of other queer youth.
Lil Nas X Honored as The Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year
Lil Nas X has yet another accolade that he can put under his belt. On Wednesday September 1, The Trevor Project announced that the “Industry Baby” rapper is its inaugural Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year award, an honor that recognizes notable figures within the LGBTQ+ community that are open about their sexuality, struggles with mental health, and their ability to fearlessly celebrate their queerness.
Gov. Pritzker Signs Legislation to Advance Mental Health Awareness in Classrooms
The legislation will ensure that students in sixth through 12th grade, as well as colleges and universities have contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line, and either the Safe2Help Illinois or a local suicide prevention hotline on their ID cards.
Kids In Illinois Will Soon Be Able To Take 5 Mental Health Days From School
Under a bill signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month, students who decide to take a mental health day will not be required to provide their school with a doctor’s note and will be able to make up any work that was missed on their day off.
Trevor Project Releases New Guide on How to Support Bisexual Youth
This important new resource breaks down the basics about bisexuality, as well as other multisexual identities, and offers best practices on how to uplift the bi people in your life. (That could include yourself!)
IntraSpectrum Counseling is Chicago’s leading psychotherapy practice dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, and we strive to provide the highest quality mental health care for multicultural, kink, polyamorous, and intersectional issues. For anyone needing affirming and validating support in their healing, contact us or call (773) 750-3505.