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September Blog Post

September Blog Post

Suicide is a growing tragedy that effects more of society each year. It demands a proactive and coordinated response from both the public and private sectors of our communities.  Particularly during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September we, as a community, are offered the opportunity to be reminded that by working together with compassion and commitment, we can make a difference in reducing the numbers of those dying by suicide each year.

It is crucial to take a proactive approach and to be familiar with the factors that can help protect people from suicide.  Protective factors include the following:

  • Effective Behavioral Health Care
  • Cultural, religious, or personal beliefs that discourage suicide
  • Connectedness to family, community, individuals, or social institutions
  • Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Life skills (including problem solving skills, coping skills, the ability to adapt to change)

If certain warning signs emerge, family and friends must be vigilant and take action.  Have an open dialogue with your loved one, and let them know that you care and are there for them. This communication can encourage them to seek the support and counseling that they need.   The following is a list of warning signs and what to do.

Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or having unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting more anxious or agitated
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

*The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk.  Warning signs are associated with suicide may not be what causes a suicide.*

What To Do

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:

  • Do not leave person alone
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK(8255)
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

As a family and a community,  let’s reach out and ask, “Are you ok?” “Is everything all right?”  Sometimes, being a compassionate friend, neighbor, family member could be the difference in a person’s life.

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