Suicide is a highly stigmatized topic, thus preventing much outward expression about it in families, churches, and communities. Because suicide rates are growing, especially in certain populations of people, it’s time to speak out! Let’s hit the high points related to suicide.
- More than 40,000 people die by suicide each year in the U.S.
- Suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999.
- Suicide can affect anyone, no matter the age, gender, or background.
- Suicide can be the result of a mental health condition, treated or untreated; – such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, personality disorder, etc.
- Many times, the family and friends of those who die by suicide have feelings of shame, preventing them from speaking out.
Warning Signs of Suicide
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
- Talking, writing, or thinking about death
- Discussing a plan for death
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Aggressive behavior
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Statements like, “I wish I weren’t here”
Danger Signs that Demonstrate Help is Needed
- A person verbalizing a plan to complete suicide
- A person looking for items to help them complete suicide, like weapons or medications
- Saying goodbye to family and friends
- Giving away prized possessions or handling final affairs
- Dramatic shifts in mood from hopeless to calm
What can you do to Prevent Suicide?
- Be gentle and sympathetic.
- Don’t argue or be judgmental.
- Ask, “Can I help you call your doctor?”
- Talk opening and bluntly about suicide like, “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Do you have a plan to kill yourself?”
- Remove weapons and harmful medications from the home or from places your loved one can get them.
- If you feel that danger is near, call 911.
Resources for Suicide Prevention
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Connect to trained counselors who help families or individuals who are considering suicide
- National Alliance on Mental Illness:Text “NAMI” to 741-741
- Connect to a trained counselor on a free crisis text line.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month; however, suicide awareness is significant year-round. If you have been affected by suicide and would like to participate in efforts for suicide awareness, contact us and we will help you share your story! Your story could be the one to save another person’s life!
If you are reading this article and are thinking of suicide, I speak LIFE into your situation and healing into your life. Know that your family and friends love you and support you. I encourage you use the resources provided and to find someone you can trust and seek help. You are in our most sincere prayers.
Until Next Time,
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Center for Disease Control and Prevention