September is Suicide Prevention and National Food Safety and Education Month
Suicide Prevention: Know the Signs
Understanding the risk factors and warning signs of suicide may help you save a life. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2020, nearly 46,000 people died by suicide. Often people feel uneasy about the topic of suicide because they don’t know much about it. Here are some facts that may help you understand more.
Anyone can be at risk for suicidal thinking and behavior. There’s no one thing that leads to suicide. But a combination of issues together can increase risk. Here are some of the factors that can put a person at risk of suicide:
Previous suicide attempt or family history of suicide
Mental illness such as depression or anxiety
Job loss or financial problems
Substance use disorder
History of abuse or bullying
Easy access to lethal means such as firearms and medications
There are also things individuals and communities do that may help protect people from suicidal thoughts and behavior. These are called protective factors. They include:
Coping and problem-solving skills
Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide
Connections to friends, family and community support
Access to medical and mental health care
Limited access to lethal means among people at risk
Many people who attempt suicide give warning signs. Here are some common signs that someone may be thinking about suicide:
Talking about wanting to die or having no reason to live
Talking about feeling hopeless
Looking for ways to kill themselves such as searching online or buying a gun
Withdrawing from family and friends
Saying that they’re a burden to others
Giving away important items or saying goodbye
Sleeping more or less
Sudden calmness after a period of depression
Taking dangerous risks such as driving too fast
Using alcohol or drugs more often
If you, or someone you know, need help a Lifeline is available
988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), and is now active across the United States.
When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
The previous Lifeline phone number, (800) 273-8255, will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.
The Lifeline’s network of over 200 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005, and has been proven to be effective. It’s the counselors at these local crisis centers who answer the contacts the Lifeline receives every day. Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.
Login to the EAP portal 24/7 at www.resourcesforliving.com
To view the Resources for Living Employee Assistance Program video about warning signs of suicide risk click the image below (a new browser window will open)
National Food Safety and Education
Sponsored by The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) National Food Safety and Education Month is a time to promote food safety best practices. Encourage people in your community to practice food safety by using PFSE’s safe recipe cookbooks The Healthy Lunch and The Safe Recipe Cookbook. And don’t forget to explore the Healthy People 2030 objectives related to Foodborne Illness for information on objectives aimed at reducing foodborne illnesses.
The Art of Mindful Eating
Taking time to be mindful of your eating process and not focusing on restricting calories could enhance your awareness of the experience, improve your relationship with food and help you lose weight. Mindful eating can be an essential practice in today’s multitasking world. Multitasking while eating can lead to less satisfaction with your meals, less awareness of the food and, often, overeating.
Mindful eating makes you fully aware of the eating experience and your thoughts and feelings about food. This concept encourages focusing on preparing and consuming your food in a distraction-free environment. By thinking about the food, you may become more aware of the signals your body sends to your brain that indicate satisfaction and fullness, which can help you improve your general health and well-being.
Tips for Mindful Eating
Evaluate your appetite and continue to assess while eating.
Start with small portions to help respect your hunger and satiety cues.
Engage your senses while eating, noticing what you see, smell, feel, taste and hear.
Eliminate distractions as they can fuel a negative relationship with food or lead to overeating or emotional eating.
Chew your food more, allowing additional time for digestion and recognizing your body’s cues.
Don’t skip meals since it can increase your risk of extreme hunger, often leading to quick and unhealthy food choices.
You can start small by attempting the practice once a week—for example, establish a “Mindful Monday.” Contact a registered dietitian if you need additional help or guidance with mindful eating or general eating habits.
Are You Prepared for a Disaster?
Disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes can strike with little or no warning. September is National Preparedness Month, making it a good time for you and your household to make a plan in case you need to evacuate your home or get trapped inside for days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the following steps for creating an emergency plan:
Discuss the following questions:
How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
What is my shelter plan?
What is my evacuation route?
What is my household communication plan?
Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
Consider specific needs in your household.
Fill out a household emergency plan.
Practice your plan with your household.
These tips pertain to your home, but remember that emergencies can happen anywhere. Visit FEMA’s website - Ready.gov - to learn more about preparing for emergencies at home, at work and on the road.
Identifying Phone Scams
According to Federal Trade Commission data, more than 2.8 million people reported fraud in 2021, and 1 in 4 said they lost money. The median loss in scams that start with a call is $1,200, higher than any other contact method. Recognizing red flags of phone scams could help you avoid falling for one. Here are some general indications that the person on the other end is a scammer:
They pretend to be from a familiar organization.
They say there’s a problem or a prize.
They pressure you to act immediately.
They tell you to pay in a specific way.
Phone scams come in many forms but often make similar promises or threats. Trust your gut if something seems off or too good to be true.