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Honoring Spade and Bourdain: Help Prevent Suicide With Mental Health First Aid

In a week that was marred by tragedy, the world lost two icons: Designer Kate Spade on June 5 and chef Anthony Bourdain on June 8, both from apparent suicide.

Spade and Bourdain’s deaths have sent shock waves throughout the country. Coupled with data recently released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighting that suicide rates are increasing for people between the ages of 10 and 75, it’s clear that there is a mental health crisis in America.

Now more than ever, people are asking, “What can I do?” and “How can I help someone in need?”

The good news is that with Mental Health First Aid you don’t need to be an expert to know how to help.

Mental Health First Aid debunks common myths and teaches people to recognize and respond to someone experiencing suicidal thoughts.

One persistent myth is that asking if someone is thinking about suicide will encourage the person to act on suicidal thoughts. But in fact, the opposite is true. During their training, Mental Health First Aiders learn how to assess for the risk of suicide by simply asking, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” If the answer is yes, Mental Health First Aiders have the tools to direct people to care.

Mental Health First Aid helps save lives. Mental Health First Aider Hilda Marie stopped a woman from jumping in front of an oncoming train in the New York City subway. Marie calmly contacted the station manager and reassured the woman until help arrived. Read Marie’s full story.

More than 1.1 million people have already been trained in Mental Health First Aid across the country. But the more educated we all are about mental health, the better hope we have of reversing the troubling trends developing around anxiety, depression and suicide. Fight for mental health and prepare yourself to help those in your community – find a Mental Health First Aid class near you and register today.