What to Post for National Suicide Prevention Month
This is a busy month for suicide prevention efforts. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, September 6-12 is National Suicide Prevention Week, and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
As a therapist or private practice, you have a responsibility to be a part of the conversation surrounding suicide prevention. But how do you post about National Suicide Prevention Month on your professional social media pages without seeming overly performative, or worse -- indifferent?
Flow Media has got you covered. Below, we're sharing ten ideas for tactful, educational, and powerful posts you can share on social media to spread awareness for National Suicide Prevention Month.
Need more professional help? Learn more about Flow Media's social media management packages by emailing email@example.com. We can help you develop a suicide awareness campaign tailored to your practice, your brand, and your audience.
Rules for Posting About Suicide on Social Media
Talking about suicide is never easy. Even if you work with clients who are suicidal, it can be difficult to address concerns about suicidality in a thoughtful way -- especially on a public platform like social media.
On social media, many eyes are watching you, so what you say about suicide matters. As a clinician, your audience is relying on you to set the standard when talking about this delicate subject.
Thankfully, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's media guidelines can also be applied to what you post online. Here are their tips for talking about suicide in a responsible way:
Say "died by suicide" or "took their own life," rather than "committed suicide."
Don't call a suicide attempt "successful," "unsuccessful," or a "failed attempt."
Do not refer to suicide as a "growing problem," "epidemic," or "skyrocketing," as this has been shown to have a contagious effect.
Always provide helpline information: "If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or contact Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741."
National Suicide Prevention Month Post Ideas
National Suicide Prevention Month offers clinicians an important opportunity to open the conversation about suicide prevention. That's a lot of responsibility!
It can be difficult to know exactly what to say when talking about something as important as suicide prevention -- even for professionals. Luckily, the following post ideas are taken straight from reputable suicide prevention organizations, so you can trust them to address suicide in a responsible manner.
1. Post a statistic.
Suicide statistics can be shocking, which makes your post memorable. More importantly, they highlight the fact that suicide -- and mental illness -- are more common than people think, helping people with suicidal thoughts feel less alone.
2. Incorporate social justice.
Now more than ever, it's important to incorporate racial and sexual disparities in mental health conditions and treatment into your social media strategy. Use your post to call attention to how suicide affects communities of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
3. Share a resource.
As a clinician, you don't need us to tell you that one of the most important things you can do for someone who is feeling suicidal is to connect them with immediate help. You may not be able to offer treatment to all of your followers, but you can at least offer them this resource.
4. Remind them that suicide is preventable.
Too many National Suicide Prevention Month campaigns take on an ominous tone. Instead, offer your followers hope by reminding them that suicide is preventable -- and suicidal thoughts are treatable.
5. Let people know how they can help.
Source: Crisis Text Line
Not all of your followers will be able to relate to having suicidal thoughts or having made a suicide attempt -- but you can still urge them to help on behalf of a loved one. Sharing links where people can get more involved in National Suicide Prevention Month advocacy efforts empowers them to hold themselves and others accountable for preventing suicide.
+Bonus! Must-Have Hashtags for Suicide Prevention Month
If you're wondering what must-have hashtags to pair with your National Suicide Prevention Month post(s), we've got you covered. Click on the link below to download our free list of hashtags for Suicide Prevention Month.