How many of us avoid awkward silences by either talking incessantly or busying ourselves with something – anything- until the moment passes? Well the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is challenging us to embrace awkward silences instead of running from them in their new Public Service Announcement series:  #SeizeTheAwkward!

The campaign features “signs to watch out for,” “conversation starters,” “during the conversation” and “what to do next.” Each topic has a series of videos, testimonials and tips to help a friend in need. There is “no need to be an expert. Just be a friend.” Check out the campaign here and see how you can #SeizeTheAwkward!

Talking about suicide IS awkward – but suicide continues to be growing concern around the world – we must reach beyond our discomfort. People who are living with deep psychological pain may consider suicide, and these thoughts may grow into plans when the pain of living becomes too much to bear: they do not actually want to die. If someone who is thinking of suicide is offered help, they will take it. We need to learn how to identify people at risk of suicide and know how to ask, “are you thinking of suicide?” before it is too late.

For more information on how you can learn suicide intervention skills check out our workshops!