Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. As a volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I encourage everyone to get involved, whether you have been affected by suicide or not.
Here is how you can help: Learn how to recognize warning signs and risk factors such as depression, changes in behavior and increased use of drugs or alcohol.
Take any threats of suicide seriously. Talk about it. It is a myth that asking people about suicide will put the idea in their heads. If you are worried about someone, asking if he is thinking about suicide can save a life. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) if you or someone you know is in crisis.
Lastly, participate in the Columbia Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Oct. 20 at Columbia Riverfront Park. The walk supports the mission of creating a world without suicide through funding research, education and advocacy programs. Visit outofthedarkness.org to register.