New Website Launched by Mass. Organization Teaches How to ‘Stop a Suicide Today’

October 14, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


Stop a Suicide Today, a national campaign that encourages individuals to take action to prevent suicide, was launched last week. The campaign was created by Screening for Mental Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting population-based mental health screening and the founder of National Depression Screening Day. The new campaign provides tools to initiate a dialogue and intervene when a friend or family member indicates that he or she might be considering suicide. Douglas Jacobs, medical director and founder of the Massachusetts-based nonprofit, said, “When someone talks about suicide or shows signs of despair, hopelessness, giving up, that communication should be taken seriously. Immediate intervention should occur.” The campaign’s website outlines a step-by-step process for providing support to those in distress by using the Acknowledge, Care, Treat (ACT) message, which involves listening, validating, and locating treatment and support services. “Listen to what they’re saying and then acknowledge to them that they seem really, really upset; they seem really hopeless, or they seem despairing, and that it’s an awful way to feel,” Jacobs explained. He suggested coupling compassion with practical support by saying, “’I’m concerned about you. I think there are things we can do to help you.'”

Spark Extra! To learn more, visit the Stop a Suicide Today website.