September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

During the month of September, organizations across the country will be calling attention to suicide prevention and awareness. Every year, 41,000 individuals die by suicide nationwide, representing the 10th leading cause of death. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 34. Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts, regardless of gender, age, race, or background. However, suicide remains a stigmatized topic, which can prevent individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts from receiving the help they need.

To recognize this preventable issue, September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, September 9-15th is National Suicide Prevention Week, and September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide prevention aims to help those who are suffering by reaching out, listening, and ending the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness so that everyone can get the help that they need. There are many signs that someone you know may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, but these include:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Feeling empty or shameful
  • Pulling away from family, friends, and the community
  • Giving away possessions/putting affairs in order
  • Mood changes (especially from despair to calm)

Risk factors that make individuals more vulnerable to suicide include:

  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
  • Some chronic illnesses and chronic pain
  • Prior suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of mental disorders, substance abuse, violence, physical/sexual abuse, or suicide
  • Having guns or other firearms
  • Recent release from prison or jail
  • Exposure to others' suicidal behavior

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255). If there is an emergency, call 911 immediately. More information on suicide prevention can be found at https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month and https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml.

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on September 11th, 2018.