World Suicide Prevention Day: Positive mental health practices

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On average, almost 3 000 people commit suicide daily. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.

About one million people commit suicide each year. Every 40 seconds, the loss of a person who killed themselves shatters the lives of family and friends.

For family and friends affected by suicide or attempted suicide, the emotional impact can last for many years.

Even though there are many changes that have occurred throughout this year and seem to continue changing even into this fall season, there are things we can do to be sure we are practising positive mental wellness.

Self-care

Give yourself grace. This is something that is so important. We are all living through a historical year that has brought about many challenges, so it is okay if you mess up or if you have a bad day. Give yourself the grace that you so deserve.

Tech Detox

Be aware of how much time you are spending on technology. If you are anything like me, whenever I spend too much time on social media, I end up comparing myself and end up feeling jealous or upset. These types of feelings are not good for my overall mental health. So it is important, especially with so much happening in our world, that we are all aware of how much time we are spending on technology and if that time is affecting our mental health negatively.

Positive affirmations

Research has shown us the numerous benefits of practising positive self-talk. When we choose words to lift ourselves up rather than down, our mental health only improves. I know it is not always the easiest thing to do, but it is something that is so important. Be aware of the words you are saying to yourself & do your best to affirm yourself and the things you do.

Gratitude

Research also shows us that practising gratitude is linked to increased feelings of happiness. Doing this can be as easy as waking up and saying three things you are thankful for. If you are feeling ambitious, write down the things you are grateful for each day. When we practice gratitude, it puts things into perspective and can help with feelings of anxiety and stress.

These are just a few ideas that you could implement in your life as this new season begins. With so much change happening this year it is crucial we all “fall” into positive mental health practices. I understand that sometimes it is not an easy fix and these things might not help. If that is the case and you or someone you know is struggling or having tough thoughts, please know there are resources available.

You can visit www.thekimfoundation.org for a full list of mental health resources or find out more about how to prevent suicide and where to get help at:

South Africa:

Lifeline Helpline: 0861-322-322

The South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group:

Helpline: 0800 21 22 23 (8am to 8pm)
Helpline: 0800 12 13 14 (8pm to 8am)
SMS 31393

By Katie Zimmerman

Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.