​​​​​​You matter: Suicide prevention is a way we can all save lives

Sept. 19, 2022​

You Matter. Talk to us. Call or text 988. Chat online at 988lifeline.org/chat

I wish I could lie down and never wake up. My friends would be better off without me. I just want to die.

If you have ever had thoughts like these, you're not alone.​

In Minnesota, 739 lives were lost to suicide and 195,000 adults had thoughts of suicide in the last year, according to the Minnesota chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

We take those numbers seriously. Even one death by suicide is a tragedy. More than 700 deaths are devastating.

This Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — which takes place each September — we are partnering with NAMI to do what we can to help Minnesotans affected by mental illness build better lives. It's crucial to remember that you matter. If you're feeling hopeless or if you have a loved one who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there are things you can do to help.

The most important thing to remember is Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), an emergency response to someone in crisis that can save lives. The process follows three steps:

  1. Question the individual's desire or intent regarding suicide
  2. Persuade the person to seek and accept help
  3. Refer the person to appropriate resources

NAMI is offering free opportunities to learn more about suicide prevention, including two courses on QPR that will take place Sept. 21 and Sept. 30. The organization offers classes online year-round, so if you can't make those, check out it​s website for other offerings.

Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for Minnesotans and 10th nationally, according to NAMI.

Our gun lock giveaway program — which is part of our “Make Minnesota Safe & Secure" initiative — aims to help get that number down. If you have a firearm and are concerned you might use it against yourself, you can put on the gun lock and give the key to a loved one. That means that in a moment of crisis, you won't have immediate access to lethal methods of harming yourself, which can save your life.

We handed out more than 23,000 free gun locks at the Minnesota State Fair. We will continue to hand them out this fall with the help of organizations like NAMI. If just one prevents someone from dying by suicide, the program will have been worth the effort. Learn more about the free gun lock program by visiting our Make Minnesota Safe & Secure webpage.​

In February 2021, 37.2 percent of adults in Minnesota reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, according to NAMI. There is no shame in being one of them. If you need free and confidential support, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.​