September is Suicide Prevention Month, and this week is National Suicide Prevention Week.

Guthrie County Health Services Director Jotham Arber says that mental health is an important topic when it comes to people, and is heavily focused on in September with the winter months fast approaching. He adds that as the weather begins to change and become cooler, people tend to stay indoors more, and can become isolated. Arber tells Raccoon Valley Radio why this isolation can be hard on individuals.

“We as humans need that interaction. We have mental needs and emotional needs, and so we encourage everybody, especially during suicide prevention, to make sure that they are accessing resources available to them. The health department has therapists on staff as well as the hospital has mental health services.”

Arber explains that everyone has a mental health issue to some degree, but not everyone’s issues develop into an illness, or to the degree that they may need help. He emphasizes that for those that do need help though, there is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of when asking for it.

“And everybody needs to talk to someone. And it is okay to talk to someone about your emotions, about what you’re going through. People have stressful lives, and we want to make sure that we’re dealing with those emotions and feelings in an appropriate way and heading off any sort of thing that would lead us down the road of wanting to self harm, and eventually end in suicide.”

Arber says that for those that need help, reach out for it, whether it is talking to a friend about everyday stresses, or talking to a professional about being depressed or anxious. He asks that for those who do feel suicidal, please reach out, by calling a professional or the suicide hotline at 988.