Suicide is often discussed after the fact. Without fail, the first thing said after a suicide is, I didn’t even know he/she was sad. While it does usually come as a shock the truth is on average there are 121 suicides every day. It’s time we focus on suicide prevention. In fact, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and each year there are over 44,000 suicides among Americans. Keep in mind these statistics include suicides and not suicide attempts. It’s estimated that at least 12 people harm themselves for every reported death by suicide. These numbers alone tell a grim tale of the state of mental health in our country.
It’s time to talk about suicide prevention and what we can do for those we love and care about. First, it’s important to recognize the warning signs of suicide. Look for the following behaviors:
Talking about wanting to die (don’t brush off comments like this)
Talking about heeling hopeless of having no purpose
Talking about being a burden to others
Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
Acting anxious, agitated or reckless
Withdrawing or feeling isolated
Showing signs or rage or extreme mood swings
If you recognize these signs, there are steps you can take to help your loved one, or yourself, to seek help. First and foremost, it’s important to know that we are never alone and nothing is ever hopeless. There is always another option to the loss of life. Actions you can take are:
Do not leave the person alone
Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp objects
Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
Visit an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional as soon as possible.
National Suicide Prevention Week takes places from September 10 – 16, 2017. There are many ways to take part in this awareness campaign. Start by sharing information about suicide prevention and mental health. Become an advocate for suicide prevention and mental health programs in your area. Whether you or someone you love is dealing with suicidal thoughts, know that you are not alone. We are here to help! SO YOU LIVETM…strong.