ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Tuesday marks the third day of Suicide Prevention Awareness Week in the U.S. “We need to talk about our mental health long before it gets to crisis so that we don’t have to create more quilts,” said Sandra Goldmeer, Area Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Putting a human face on the tragedy of suicide – the quilts exhibited on the state concourse in Albany were made by someone who lost a loved one to suicide. Goldmeer says the AFSP has quilts that date back to 20 years, and sometimes more. The organization says prevention begins with being willing to talk about it, “You know if we fall down and we hurt our ankle we will very quickly go and look for a doctor, if we start feeling like we’re sadder than usual, or more anxious than usual we wait and we figure I will just take care of it ourselves,” said Goldmeer.
But you don’t have to do it on your own. Goldmeer recommends talking to a friend to let them know you’re struggling and be willing to speak to your primary doctor to let them know where you’re at. There’s also the 988 National Suicide Hotline number.
Goldmeer says it doesn’t only have to be used for those having suicidal thoughts, “988 is for mental health, it’s for suicide prevention and it’s not just for the person who’s in crisis, if you have a friend you’re worried about you can call 988 and ask them, ‘how do I have a conversation with them?, What do I do? You know, I’m really worried about someone’ and get some of those resources for you.”
Goldmeer says partaking in activities that are positive for you is crucial to your well being. You can also reach out to the Office of Mental Health to get additional resources.