Mental health resources, how to help someone at risk of suicide

Scroll down to see ways to cope, resources, and how to help others that may be struggling

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we want you to know you’re not alone.

We’re working for you to break down several different tools, resources, and facts on mental health, from how you can cope with stress to ways to get help for someone in crisis.

Ways to cope with stress

It’s something that you might not realize you’ve built so much of: stress. While there are plenty of things in life out of your control, you are always able to choose the way you respond to them.

The CDC’s Mental Health website offers several different ways to cope that you can implement into your daily life:

  • Take care of your body
    • Get enough sleep
    • Fuel your body with nutritious foods
    • Get up and move (exercise, go for a walk, stretch, and more)
  • Limit alcohol intake, avoid using drugs, and avoid smoking
  • Follow through with regular appointments and check-ups
  • Take time for yourself to unwind, unplug from social media, and hold off on reading or watching the news
  • Reach out and connect with others

Coping with stress in a healthy way can help you and the people around you, the CDC said.

Depression and suicide awareness

Suicide was responsible for 48,183 deaths in 2021, which is about one death every 11 minutes, according to the CDC.

In 2021, there were 46,412 suicides among adults, the CDC said. For every suicide death, there were about 3 hospitalizations for self-harm, 8 ER visits related to suicide, 38 self-reported suicide attempts, and 265 people who considered suicide.

If you or someone you know is struggling – you’re not alone. Find out how you can get help or help others below.

Need help now?

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help immediately, you can reach out to a 24/7 center.

You can reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or through chat here.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a Disaster Distress Helpline. Call or text 1-800-985-5990 to get help (press 2 for Spanish).

A local resource, Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare also has a 24-hour crisis hotline, which you can reach at 540-981-9351.

Warning signs

When it comes to warning signs, no one size fits all.

According to Region One Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Jordan Brooks, small changes can have a ripple effect.

“Ultimately just noticing changes and how those changes are impacting them because everyone is different and everybody’s story and experiences are different. Things like sleep habits, appetite mood, and withdrawal from others, family, and friends. Not doing things they typically liked to do,” Brooks told 10 News in an earlier interview.

The following list is of warning signs noted by the CDC:

  • Talking about being a burden,
  • Being isolated,
  • Increased anxiety,
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain,
  • Increased substance use,
  • Looking for a way to access lethal means,
  • Increased anger or rage,
  • Extreme mood swings,
  • Expressing hopelessness,
  • Sleeping too little or too much,
  • Talking or posting about wanting to die,
  • Making plans for suicide.

You can read more on warning signs and how to help someone at risk by clicking here.

How you can help

There are a range of factors that can contribute to suicide, according to the CDC. Now - how can you help?

First, the CDC says it’s good to know the warning signs. You can review their list above and see more here.

Secondly, know where someone can go to get help. Whether it’s via an online, 24/7 crisis hotline or a local healthcare provider, connecting with a mental health professional can be beneficial, officials said.

#BeThe1To, a message developed by the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, suggests five action steps that can help you communicate with someone who is suicidal:

  1. Ask and Listen: When asking them how they feel, you’ll want to be direct – asking “Are you thinking about suicide?” sends a message that you’re open and willing to talk, then listen about suicide in a supportive way. You can also ask how you can help, or how they are hurting, but never make a promise that you’ll keep thoughts of suicide a secret.
  2. Be there: Being there with someone can look several different ways, from a phone call to being physically present, just being there shows your support, but don’t make any plans or promises you can’t keep.
  3. Help keep them safe: Once you’ve asked them about suicide directly, you can consider other factors that would impact their safety. Learning more about a previous attempt(s), if any, as well as plans and other details can help you determine level of danger. If there is a firearm nearby and the person is very serious about attempting suicide, it may be necessary to call 911 or get emergency help. 988 serves as a 24/7 crisis hotline for the person, and there are more immediate crisis options above.
  4. Help them connect: One way to help someone find connections and support is to develop a safety plan, which can include people to get in touch with when they’re in crisis. Think of it as helping them establish a safety net.
  5. Follow up: Like any other interaction, you’ll want to follow up with the person you care about. You can call, leave a message, shoot them a text – really anything to check in and let them know you’re still there for them or thinking of them.

If you’re interested in reading the how, why, and more research behind the five action steps, you can click here.

Finding treatment

Thanks to the CDC, finding mental health care in your area is streamlined and simple. By clicking here, you can view the CDC’s organized list of resources and tools to help you get connected with a mental health professional.

If you’re looking for treatment centers, you can do so via any of the four links, the CDC says:

Mental health care in our region

And of course, there are plenty of mental health care facilities across our region. Below you can find a list of facilities offering mental health services within a 25-mile radius of Roanoke City:

  • Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare Child Youth and Family Services
  • Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare Rita J Gliniecki Recovery Center
  • Carilion Clinic Childrens Pediatric Behavioral Health
  • Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Dept of Psych/Behavioral Medicine
  • EHS Roanoke Corporate
  • Family Insight Roanoke
  • Family Preservation Services Roanoke Office
  • Horizon Behavioral Health Bedford Wellness Center
  • Intercept True North Health Clinic
  • LewisGale Behavioral Health
  • Piedmont Community Services Franklin County Satellite Clinic
  • Piedmont Community Services Horizons Day Treatment Program
  • Suicide Prevention Council of Roanoke Valley
  • Support Systems Inc
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center Mental Health Service

More data and resources:

CDC Suicide Prevention

CDC Injury Center

CDC Mental Health


About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.