Suicide and mental health isn't always an easy thing to talk about, but it's important.

I’ve been affected by suicide since I was in my late teens, when a fellow student and member of my college radio station took his own life after his girlfriend broke up with him. Most recently, my first cousin, one of the closest members of my family, died by suicide at the age of 50 while struggling with financial issues.

I, myself, am no stranger to feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness and past urges to self-harm.

One of the most powerful tools we have in reducing suicide is talking about it, whether it's working against stigmas and misinformation that prevent people from receiving the help they need or checking in with a friend or family member about whose mental health you're concerned.

If you feel like you don't have enough information about suicide warning signs and how to help, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a great introductory class called Talk Saves Lives. Here's how AFSP describes it:

This is a community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide. Attendees will learn the risk and warning signs of suicide, and how together, we can help prevent it.

Ready to get started? Click here to learn more and find a presentation near you.