Local therapist sheds light on helpful resources during National Suicide Prevention Month

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — September is National Suicide Prevention Month and, according to the CDC, suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the U.S.

In 2019, alone, there were an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts.

"It’s a global crisis,” local therapist Christine Johnsen said. “It’s something that’s definitely worth talking about more than just one month out of the whole year."

“We see increased anxiety and a lot of negative self-talk,” she said. “People are experiencing a lot of sleep issues. There’s been increased usage of alcohol and even drugs."

Johnsen said many people struggle with feeling disconnected, alone, trapped or hopeless.

Many mental health professionals say they have seen an increase in these warning signs during the pandemic. Johnsen said she wants anyone who needs help to know there are plenty of resources that are free, completely confidential and can be accessed 24-7.

Johnsen also said many therapists offer sliding scale pricing, based on what a person can afford. And even if you are not the one struggling, she said you can be a lifeline for someone who is.

"Check in with your friends and family, and don’t be hesitant to ask, ‘How are you feeling? Really, how are you feeling?’," she said.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, Sept. 18, will be hosting the "Out of the Darkness" Albuquerque Walk from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Hoffmantown Church in Albuquerque, at 8888 Harper Rd. N.E. To register for the walk, visit the website, www.supporting.afsp.org

New Mexico Crisis Hotlines:

NM Crisis Line 1-855-662-7474
Text-to-Talk Crisis Line Text “HOME” to 741-741
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline 1-877-565-8860
Agora Crisis Line 1-855-505-4505
Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386
Teens Helping Teens 1-800-TLC-TEEN