MONTOUR FALLS, N.Y. (WENY) — One local outreach organization is helping people feel a little more comfortable when talking about #suicide.
Riqui Hess, Executive Director for M.R. Hess Home Works, says after losing her husband to #suicide and dealing with #suicide herself, she decided to start a non-profit to help people in the community.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
“I think that it’s just not talked about enough. There’s a lot of #stigma around #mentalhealth and #suicide. We have community conversations that we try to do, they’re called Too Late For Taboo Talks and just getting people to talk about it making them feel more comfortable using the word #suicide is important and helping them understand that there’s places they can go and people that do understand how they’re feeling,” Hess said.
Her main goal, through the QPR #SuicidePrevention Training Seminars, is to get rid of any #stigma surrounding the topic of #suicide by teaching them how to talk to someone who may be feeling suicidal.
“A lot of people worry that by saying something they’re going to make someone worse, essentially. That’s not the case. There are definitely things you don’t want to say, but it’s not so much about making them worse. It’s about making them comfortable,” Hess said.
While the thought of asking someone if they’ve been feeling suicidal may feel uncomfortable, Hess says if you’re worried about someone’s well being, you shouldn’t stay silent, instead find a way to start a conversation.
“If you think someone might be suicidal, if you’re thinking they might be suicidal, there’s a chance that they are. So, flat out asking them ‘are you suicidal?’ but saying it in a way that’s not negative. One of the things we tell people not to say is ‘you’re not feeling suicidal are you?’ because you’re already putting a negative spin on it. So it’s just wording it and actually being comfortable saying those words,” Hess said.
Before someone decides to start a conversation with someone, Hess recommends going to a seminar so they have an idea of how to bring up the topic of #suicide without upsetting someone.
“We encourage people to take the training before they are in a situation to use it. I usually compare it to CPR and first aid training that way,” Hess said.
They also have kits to help people who may be going through a dark time in their lives. ‘Push through boxes’ are available in a few different spots in Watkins Glen to help people who are feeling suicidal. Each box has some motivational quotes, a self help booklet, candy and a few other items. People can send or order a box or boxes can be picked up in Watkins Glen and Montour falls. The locations of the ‘Push through boxes’ can be found here.
The next #suicideprevention training seminar will be completely virtual and is scheduled for October 27th. More information on registration can be found on the M.R. Hess Home Works website.