September is Suicide Prevention Month
In the US, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and worldwide one person every 40 seconds takes their life. We know that a sense of connection, large or small, is one of our fundamental human needs and it affects our mental health, physical health, and longevity. That’s why for suicide prevention month we invite you, and our partners to join us in using the Connect to Hope toolkit to encourage connections through simple action to help prevent suicide
The Campaign Goal
The goal of the Campaign to Change Direction is to change the culture of mental health so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. The Campaign encourages everyone to pay attention to their emotional well-being – and it reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being. We provide a tool, the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being, so that we all have a common language to identify when someone is suffering and how we can stay emotionally healthy.
What are the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being?
Learn the Five Signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and might need help:
Their personality changes. You may notice sudden or gradual changes in the way that someone typically behaves. He or she may behave in ways that don’t seem to fit the person’s values, or the person may just seem different.
They seem uncharacteristically angry, anxious, agitated, or moody. You may notice the person has more frequent problems controlling his or her temper and seems irritable or unable to calm down. People in more extreme situations of this kind may be unable to sleep or may explode in anger at a minor problem.
They withdraw or isolate themselves from other people. Someone who used to be socially engaged may pull away from family and friends and stop taking part in activities he or she use to enjoy. In more severe cases the person may start failing to make it to work or school. Not to be confused with the behavior of someone who is more introverted, this sign is marked by a change in someone’s typical sociability, as when someone pulls away from the social support he or she typically has.
They stop taking care of themselves and may engage in risky behavior. You may notice a change in the person’s level of personal care or an act of poor judgment on his or her part. For instance, someone may let his or her personal hygiene deteriorate, or the person may start abusing alcohol or illicit substances or engaging in other self-destructive behavior that may alienate loved ones.
They seem overcome with hopelessness and overwhelmed by their circumstances. Have you noticed someone who used to optimistic and now can’t find anything to be hopeful about? That person may be suffering from extreme or prolonged grief or feelings of worthlessness or guilt. People in this situation may say that the world would be better off without them, suggesting suicidal thinking.
Learn the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being
Get checkups. We get check-ups for our physical health and for our teeth. We even take our cars in for check-ups. It’s time to take responsibility and get check-ups for our emotional well-being. Talk with your doctor, a counselor, a faith-based leader… and your family and friends to make sure you are doing well emotionally.
What Can I Do To #ChangeDirection?
If you recognize that someone in your life is suffering, now what?
You connect, you reach out, you inspire hope, and you offer help. Show compassion and caring and a willingness to find a solution when the person may not have the will or drive to help him- or herself. There are many resources in our communities. It may take more than one offer, and you may need to reach out to others who share your concern about the person who is suffering. If everyone is more open and honest about mental health, we can prevent pain and suffering, and those in need will get the help they deserve.
Thank You for Helping Us #ChangeDirection!
Culture change happens faster if leaders and champions step forward to set examples for others to follow.
Music Changes Direction
The Campaign to Change Direction, launched in 2015 by Give an Hour, is designed to change the conversation around mental health and emotional well-being. An essential aspect of this effort has been support from cultural icons and leaders from the world of entertainment – including music.
Music has a unique role for those who are experiencing emotional suffering and for the process of healing and recovery. It has the ability to affect the human spirit in a fundamental way. The contributions and the passion of musicians has been a vital component of our effort to change the culture of mental health and bring these conversations to a larger audience.
Learn more about Music Changes Direction Partners Here.
Help us spread the word and #changementalhealth by sharing our Jumbotron Public Service Announcement/PSA and using this Fire Away video to start a mental health conversation in your community.
We would like to thank Chris and Morgane Stapleton for their compassion, courage and willingness to step up to create this important story – and the entire Stapleton team for their support of our mission. We would also like to thank actors Ben Foster and Margarita Levieva for their inspired and compelling performances. Finally, we would like to thank Tim Mattia whose direction brought Chris’ vision into focus. By lending their talent and their voices, these fine artists are helping us change the culture of mental health.
Join the Conversation
Show you Know the Signs! Take a selfie with the message “I know the signs,” OR tell us who you are learning the signs for OR who you are sharing the signs with, on your hand. Five fingers, Five Signs. Help your message spread by tagging others and using the hashtag #ChangeMentalHealth.
Seven regions have joined the Campaign to Change Direction!
Take a look at how they are making in impact in their areas and, if you live in one of these regions, join their effort.
In 2015, Give an Hour launched the Campaign to Change Direction to change the culture of mental health so that all in need are able to receive the care and support they deserve. Just as we know the signs of a heart attack, we can all learn the Five Signs of emotional suffering that tell us someone is in pain and needs help. By harnessing the skills and generosity of those willing to give, Give an Hour provides help and hope to those in need. Learn more at giveanhour.org.
We are proud to announce that Give an Hour has received a 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator! Attaining a 4-star rating indicates that Give an Hour exceeds industry standards and outperforms most nonprofits in our area of focus. This is an exceptional designation from Charity Navigator that sets Give an Hour apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.