September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), there were an estimated 1.7 million suicide attempts in 2021.
That’s more than the individual state population of 11 different states. This is nearly three times the population of the state of Vermont.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that according to data in 2021, an average of one person in the United States died by suicide every 11 minutes. And the CDC reports suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
What can you do if you or someone you care about has suicidal thoughts?
The town has resources on its website, as well as a team of staff at Youth and Family Services (Y&FS) who are available to help with support (https://www.bedfordma.gov/299/Youth-Family-Services).
Y&FS provides a helpful list of mental health resources to call (and some available for text) and they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for those in crisis or those helping someone in crisis.
- National Hotlines
988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline
Crisis Text line – Text START to 741741 – Free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get immediate support and be connected to a trained crisis counselor (including services for Vets, in spanish and ASL options)
Chat live on the 988 website at: https://988lifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/
- Local Helplines
Call 2 Talk 2-1-1 or 508-532-2255 (or text C2T to 741741)
NAMI Support Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
NAMI Mass Compass: 617-704-NAMI
Samaritans Boston: 617-247-0220 or 877-870-HOPE
Samaritans of Merrimack Valley: 866-912-4673
Samariteen (Teen line): 800-252-TEEN
- LGBTQ Youth Support
Fenway Community Health Center: 800-399-7337
The Trevor Project Helpline: 866-488-7386
- Mobile Emergency Psychiatric Services Programs
Advocates Emergency Service: 800-640-5432
The Town of Bedford also provides access to INTERFACE Referral Service, a mental health resource and referral Helpline that can align Bedford residents and Bedford Public School students with counselors or other resources based on the needs and concerns of the individual, insurance coverage, location, and availability. Information about INTERFACE can be accessed here: https://www.bedfordma.gov/394/INTERFACE-Referral-Service.
The first step, whether you are worried about someone or scared yourself, is to find someone to talk to – Reach out.