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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Crisis Services of North Alabama emphasizes use of crisis hotline

Crisis Services of North Alabama shares the importance of communicating with those struggling and resources available to help.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — September is "Suicide Prevention Awareness Month" and Crisis Services of North Alabama say they are one of the many resources available to those struggling.

Adde Waggoner, the development manager for CSNA urges that when you communicate with someone struggling, "you open the door for them to talk about it. You're not going to put the idea into their head. If you're worried that they are suicidal, they've probably contemplated it and they're looking for someone to talk to."

She says communication can help save lives and their organization has a 24 hour helpline with crisis counselors who can help those struggling and they, "are all trained to de-escalate situations and just sit with the person with an empathetic ear and look for the warning signs that someone may be experiencing severe suicidal ideation and then triaging them to get them to the proper avenues that they might need to take."

These counselors can also guide people who aren't sure what to do for a loved-one who is struggling.

And Waggoner shares some possible warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide.

"You might see someone who's been severely depressed or withdrawn and isolated suddenly become really happy and seem like they've found clarity. They might give away their possessions to their loved ones. They might abuse or misuse alcohol or substances more, they might be a little bit more aggressive."

She emphasizes the importance of normalizing the discussion of suicide because, "you're not alone and 99% of the population experiences some mental disturbance in their lifetime. That's almost all of us. And it could be grief from a loss or anxiety or depression or a severe mental illness. It affects all of us. So when we talk about suicide, we normalize it and we save lives."

If you or someone you love is experiencing thoughts of suicide, Crisis Services recommends calling their 24/7 hotline at 256-716-1000.

Or you can call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8.

RELATED: Sept. is National Suicide Prevention Month. Here's how Huntsville is taking part.

RELATED: Suicide prevention and awareness vigil set for Sept. 10

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