Call/Text 988

Strength in CommUnity: A Lifeline for Suicide Prevention Month

By Unity Stevens, Mobile Crisis Response Program Manager

CommUnity promotes mental health by providing support, reducing stigma, fostering social connections, sharing knowledge and resources, and enhancing resilience. Communities can work together to create a nurturing environment where folx can thrive mentally and emotionally. This can look like folx looking out for one another and noticing signs of struggles in peers and colleagues. Too, we can be open about our own struggles. Being part of a supportive community allows us access to a network of individuals (peers, supervisors, command staff, etc.) who can offer support, empathy, and understanding. Connecting with others with similar experiences or challenges can foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation.

Sharing struggles, triumphs, and emotions within a supportive community can help folx feel heard and validated, which is crucial to emotional processing and healing. Environments that prioritize mental health can help reduce stigma surrounding related challenges. When people openly discuss their concerns and share their experiences, it creates an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding. This can encourage folx to seek help without fear of judgment, leading to early intervention and improved timely access to resources. We, as humans, are social creatures whether we like to socialize on a grand scale or not. A sense of connection and belonging is crucial to our overall mental well-being.

Engaging with our community (whether that’s our circle of friends, a social group, or CommUnity as an agency) provides opportunities for social interaction that can help support mental well-being. Regular social interactions within a supportive community reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. When we are open about our struggles, our community can lean on a collective knowledge base and provide resources related to mental health. We can share information, experiences, coping strategies, and other resources to support members in need. Accessing this collective wisdom can empower folx to make informed decisions about their mental health needs.

Sometimes, the most impactful thing we can do is to hold space with or for a struggling peer or colleague. Interacting with others who have faced similar challenges or have overcome mental health issues can inspire hope and motivation. Supportive communities provide a platform for folx to learn from one another, share coping mechanisms, and gain insights into practical strategies for navigating their difficulties. Some ways that you can help support your loved ones (or a stranger) are:

  • Practice empathy by putting yourself in their shoes and understanding their perspective
  • Practice kindness by offering a non-judgmental space for someone to express themselves
  • Be authentic by sharing your story to offer support. Vulnerability and openness can deepen connections and encourage others to reciprocate.

If you’re on the fence about reaching out to someone you know is struggling or struggling yourself, please feel free to take this post as a sign to reach out. You will likely touch that person’s heart or be moved yourself!

CommUnity is here to support you through hard times. Call (855) 581-8111 to connect with Mobile Crisis or call/text 988 for support.