Last week I wrote and shared my thoughts on how unusual of a time this is that we are all living through. That remains true today even more than it was just 7 days ago. While it is still true we should all be washing our hands longer and more often, limiting gatherings to less than 10 people and staying healthy by eating right, sleeping and exercising are all good things to do right now. At the same time, fear and anxiety is higher, uncertainty about how long this will go on is more than it was, and as businesses and schools close worry about income, benefits and healthcare increase.
Like most other nonprofits and businesses, SAVE staff have the ability to work remotely for now and our phones will be rolled over so that we can keep answering them for anyone who calls. Our emails will be on and we will be responding to all inquiries and requests for assistance, products, referrals or other needs. Sadly, we had to cancel our annual Suicide Memorial as well as some other events coming up in the next two months, but we will continue working on and planning for our summer and fall events in the hope they can happen following this public health crisis.
I want you to know that we will continue working on our programs and assisting others internationally, nationally and locally. We might be working remotely, but we will be working! Our staff will be supporting others and creating new ways to be helpful to people who are in a mental health crisis or who might be suicidal. Importantly, we will also continue to be there for those who have been touched by suicide. In fact, just yesterday I was asked to help a community following the suicide of an adult male two nights ago. Our work must not stop and must not waver despite Covid-19. For 30 years SAVE has been at the forefront of suicide prevention and we plan to be in the same place in the weeks and months ahead.
Staying connected is more important now than ever before. Please do what you can to stay connected to people in your lives in any way(s) that work for you, and remember not everyone has a computer, so even using the old fashioned method of writing out a card or note and sending it will be a valued gift to anyone who receives it from you. Find ways to be connected to things that you enjoy and make you smile, such as friends, hobbies, family, faith, and other groups. Make it a priority to try and learn something new from everyone that you have contact with that never seems to happen under more normal circumstances. Work on projects that you have put off or away because you’ve been too busy, or start something new that you have always wanted to try. Use Facebook and other social media to help you reconnect with someone that has been on your mind lately. Limit how much news you tune into each day and get information only from credible sources. And of course after a day or two of relaxing, get into a routine for eating, sleeping and exercising to stay healthy.
The world needs you, and SAVE does too. Let us know how you are doing and how we can help. This remains an unusual time. We know that too and believe that together, we will get through this.
Dan Reidenberg, Psy.D.
Executive Director – SAVE