Warning: This blog post mentions sexual assault/abuse and suicide.
This is the number for the National Suicide Hotline in the United States. When I worked in mental health, I often got the question, “How bad do I need to be before I call?” or “What if I’m just thinking about it?” The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Call or text. People can be suicidal or have suicidal ideation for myriad reasons, maybe or maybe not linked to a mental health disorder. Adverse life experiences can be the cause with or without mental illness. If you need a place to turn when you’re thoughts are scaring you, these trained volunteers are here to listen to what’s going on and have resources to help you stop spiraling.
NEDA is the National Eating Disorder Association. This great website has ways to connect via a phone call, an online chat, or text. Similar to 988, no one will be asking you to “prove” anything before you contact them. Most people who contact them struggle with an eating disorder, have “disordered eating,” or love someone who is struggling with their body. Also on this website are great resources in general, whether you’ve been recently diagnosed, recovered, or wondering if you should talk to your doctor.
If you or someone you love has a mental illness and you don’t know where to find non-emergency resources, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is a grassroots organization focused on public mental health. Here you can find articles, books, and media that can educate and inform. You can participate by becoming a volunteer, as well. If you have a question about how you help yourself or someone else with a mental illness, or just want to learn more, this is the website you need.
RAIIN is the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. On their website you can find a safe and confidential place to become informed and to talk about your own trauma, or get advice on how to best support someone else. With everything ranging from press info (as in, how do you interview a survivor?) to education and training, RAIIN is a non-profit ready to help. I have personally found this group to be life-saving, as they helped me find a therapist, listened to me when I needed to talk, and provided me with information on policies and procedures for businesses and non-profits who want to prevent violence in the workplace.
5. You matter
Dear person reading this 5 Things, the world is a better place with you in it. I am so glad you’re here today. God made you and loves you as you are. God also wants you to be well. You deserve to feel better. You deserve to heal. You deserve hope.
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