Home Local News Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for everyone to show up

Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for everyone to show up


We have grown through some challenging times as a Salem-Keizer community. We continue to have the opportunity to show up for each other and take on the shared responsibility for supporting mental wellness and suicide prevention.

What to do when someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts

When someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts, the pain that they are feeling is very real! This pain is not always noticeable and someone experiencing emotional pain can often feel isolated. Some people who are depressed can appear angry, irritable, in addition to withdrawn and quiet.

It is important to ask yourself, “Is the behavior that I am seeing very different for this person?” If there is any concern, lean in and trust your instincts. By showing care and concern to someone who may be vulnerable to suicide makes a big difference.

What to do when you recognize warning signs

When you recognize some warning signs it is okay to ask someone about suicide. Asking, “Are you thinking about suicide?”, opens the door for a caring conversation about how someone might be hurting and how you might be able to be a support.

Some important considerations

  • During the most difficult times in life, you have the capability to deal with whatever comes your way and thrive through every circumstance or situation.
  • Reaching out to others to ask for help is not a weakness — and in a society where most people are reluctant to ask for help, asking for help is a sign of strength and confidence.
  • Resilience is derived from the ways that we learn to think and act when faced with obstacles. When we help cultivate an approach to life that views obstacles as a critical part of success, we help people develop coping skills and build resilience.
  • Social connectedness improves physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Social connectedness increases one’s sense of belonging, fosters a sense of personal worth, provides access to sources of support, and reduces the risk for suicide.

Promoting resilience and wellness

It is important to remember that most people experiencing suicidal thoughts do not die by suicide. Recovery and resiliency are the norms. Everyone has an important role in promoting resilience and wellness. As we lean into our strengths and lean into each other as a community, we can create a pathway to hope, strength, and healing.

There are preventative actions individuals can take if they are having thoughts of suicide or if you know others who are or might be having thoughts of suicide. Salem-Keizer Public Schools has school counselors that are available to provide support to students and families regarding mental health and suicide.

School counselors can assist in coordinating in school and community supports. If you or someone you know are struggling, please reach out and contact your school counselor and some of the helpful resources.

Helpful resources

Crisis Hotlines | Estado de Crisis

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Red Nacional de Prevencion del suicidio:  1-888-628-9454
  • Polk County Mental Health: 503-623-9289 or 503-581-5535
  • Marion County Youth & Family Crisis Services: 503-578-4673 and Psychiatric Crisis Center (PCC):  503-585-4949
  • Lines for Life-Suicide Hotline 800-273-8255 or 877-968-8491
  • Oregon Youth Line:  877-968-849; Text: “teen2teen” to 839863; Email:  YouthL@LinesforLife.org; Chat at www.oregonyouthline.org
  • The Trevor Project:  1-866-488-7386 – provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth.
  • Trans Lifeline:  877-565-8860 or visit translifeline.org  – a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs community members might have.
  • Veterans Crisis Line:  veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

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