September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This month is about raising awareness for suicide prevention. September 5 – September 11 is Suicide Prevention Week. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. This is a time to remember individuals affected by suicide, share stories and resources, and promote awareness as well as direct treatment to those who need it most.

Although many people are comfortable talking about mental health these days, the conversation about suicide is still a scary one for many. Some are worried that asking someone if they are having suicidal thoughts will put the idea in their head or even push them to take their lives, which is not true according to research. Others are worried that they will not know what to do or how to help.

This month is about learning more about suicide prevention, because every organization and community can play a role by knowing and recognizing signs of suicide. This also includes understanding what leads someone to suicide and finding ways to support someone, such as by opening dialogue when we are concerned or worried and finding and reaching out to helpful resources. This can help empower us and our communities. It is also important to not be afraid to reach out for help if we need it ourselves.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond is to be there for someone in the following ways:

  • Ask in a caring way. Research shows that acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce suicidal ideation rather than increase it, and that individuals who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks in a caring way.
  • Be there and listen without judgement.
  • Keep them safe by making lethal means less available or less deadly.
  • Help them stay connected by establishing a safe network of individuals and resources they can turn to for support to reduce feelings of hopelessness.
  • Follow up is an important part of suicide prevention, such as through supporting and ongoing contact, especially for those discharged from hospitals or care services.
  • Learn more by becoming familiar with resources, engaging in events, and becoming a part of the movement by taking action to promote healing, help, and give hope.

We all need to take part in reducing the stigma around mental health and talking about suicide so that more people can reach out for help. Take time this month to educate yourself and engage in proactive intervention within your community. Many people needing help do not reach out because of fear of being judged or misunderstood. Look out for warning signs and do not be afraid to have a conversation. This is an especially important time for us to come together and support each other in an empathic and compassionate way.

Trauma is associated with greater suicide risk. Many of those attempting and completing suicide have a background of trauma. One study looking at the association of suicidality and traumatic life events found increased likelihood for suicidality among those who had experienced interpersonal trauma, childhood trauma, and sexual trauma. If you or someone you know is suffering from the effects of trauma, suicidal thoughts, or any other associated symptoms, reach out for help today.

Serenity Trauma Healing Center is an award-winning outpatient trauma treatment facility in Malibu, CA, providing psychological services for adolescents and adults. A two-time recipient of the Best of Palisades Award, we offer a range of programs to help deal with the effects of trauma. Our practitioners can help clients cope with trauma, deal with the symptoms of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and focus on sober living.

Staff of the Week:

Joanne Mednick, Psy. D., LMFT, Founder & Executive Director

Dr. Mednick is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in a unique blend of various methodologies to offer her clients the deepest possible healing. She has developed her practice through her studies in Applied Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Spiritual Psychology, Consciousness Health and Healing, EMDR, Brain Spotting, Sensory Motor Psychotherapy and Somatic Therapy and has clients worldwide. Dr. Mednick had also undertaken twelve further years of study with world-renowned Energy Medicine specialist Christine Schenk. Dr. Mednick is one of the few people in America trained in the CHRIS®-Technique, and as a part of the services she offers, Dr. Mednick blends these techniques into her work at Serenity Trauma Healing Center. She is skilled in understanding and treating the most severe addictions and traumas and in helping clients find ways to heal on all five levels of consciousness: Mental, Physical, Energetic, Emotional and Spiritual. Dr. Mednick strives to bring her clients completion in the trauma/addiction/illness cycle, and to move them from pull into the trauma vortex (pain and chaos) towards easily and consciously choosing the healing vortex (calm and relaxed). She believes in the importance of the Inner Journey and how best to support her clients in reconnecting with that which is inside and assisting clients in reaching higher levels of inner peace, connectedness in their body, and achieving a sense of wellness in their lives. Through her many years as a therapist and her commitment to cutting-edge education, she has learned to pinpoint even the most resistant clients’ deepest issues and help them to change their destructive patterns. Dr. Mednick believes it is her life’s purpose to help others move along their own path towards full and complete healing.

**Announcement** On June 11th, our current electronic health system will transition to a new and advanced system to better serve you: Athena. Prior to the transition date, you will be sent a registration link to create a new patient account in Athena. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your therapist, or call our office to speak to a staff member.