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National Suicide Week: Sept. 9-15, 2018

National Suicide Week: Sept. 9-15, 2018

First recognized in 1975, National Suicide Prevention Month is designed to promote the understanding and prevention of suicide and support those who have been affected by it.

 Suicide does not discriminate by age, gender, occupation, education, or sexual orientation.

·         It is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

·         Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide, about 123 per day

·         For every suicide, there are 25 attempts

·         Men die by suicide 3.53x more often than women.

·         White males account for 7 of 10 suicides

·         Firearms account for 51% of all suicides

·         The rate of suicide is highest in middle age, especially white men

 Suicide Risk Factors:

Health Conditions:

·         Mental health conditions, such as depression, bipolar disease, or anxiety disorder

·         Substance abuse disorders, such as alcohol or drug abuse

·         Serious or chronic health conditions or pain

Environmental Factors:

·         Stressful life events, such as a death, divorce, or job loss

·         Prolonged stress factors, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems, or unemployment

·         Access to lethal means, including firearms and drugs

·         Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide

·         Barriers to accessing mental health treatment

Historical Factors:

·         Previous suicide attempts

·         Family history of suicide attempts

·         History of abuse as a child

 Warning signs of someone who may be suicidal:

A person talks about:  

·         Being a burden to others

·         Feeling trapped

·         Feelings of hopelessness

·         Experiencing unbearable pain

·         Having no reason to live

·         Killing themselves

Behavior:

·         Increased use of alcohol or drugs

·         Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means

·         Acting recklessly

·         Withdrawing from activities

·         Isolating from family and friends

·         Sleeping too much or too little

·         Contacting people to say goodbye

·         Giving away prized possessions

·         Aggression

Mood:

·         Depression

·         Loss of interest

·         Rage

·         Irritability

·         Humiliation

·         Anxiety

 7 Steps for Helping Someone:

1.      Ask: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.

2.      Ask: "Do you have a plan?" Keep them safe by reducing access to lethal items (such as a gun or drugs) or places.

3.      Be there: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling.

4.      Stay Connected: Stay in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care.

5.      Social Media: Know how to get help for a social media friend. Contact the social media website directly if you are concerned about a friend’s updates or dial 911 in an emergency.

6.      Help them connect with a trusted individual, like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.

7.      National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

 The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers. They provide free and confidential emotional support to people who are feeling suicidal or are having emotional distress. This Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Know that you’ll first be greeted with a message and placed on hold before being transferred to a trained crisis worker who works at the Lifeline crisis center closest to you.

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