It is National Suicide Prevention Week in America, and open dialogue about suicide is more important than ever before.
Suicide is a major public health problem, but it is also very preventable.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 34,598 Americans died by suicide in 2007.
You can help someone in your life get help.
Hearing a friend or family member express that they want to commit suicide is very upsetting.
Some people think that talking the person out of their suicidal thoughts or ignoring their comments is the best way to go about the situation.
However, action is always the best choice.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following:
- Start asking questions.
- Do you feel like giving up?
- Are you thinking about hurting yourself?
- Are you thinking about committing suicide?
- Have you thought about how you would do it? When you would do it?
- Do you have a means to commit suicide?
- Be on the lookout for warning signs.
- Making statements such as “I’m going to kill myself” or “I wish I were dead”
- Gaining the means to commit suicide, such as pills or a gun
- Withdrawing; wanting to be left alone
- Mood swings
- Preoccupation with death, dying, or violence
- Feeling trapped or hopeless
- Changing the normal routine, whether it be sleep, eating habits, or attendance patterns
- New or increased substance abuse
- Reckless driving or other risky behavior
- Saying goodbye as if for the last time or getting affairs in order
- Personality changes
- Don’t be afraid to act.
- Don’t leave the person alone
- Call 911 or your local emergency line immediately
- (Option 2: If it is completely safe to do so, you may transport the person to the nearest hospital. If in doubt, call 911)
- Try to find out if the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if they have overdosed
- Tell a friend or family member what is going on
- It’s better to be safe.
Your loved one may have to be hospitalized until the crisis has passed.
If you are in a crisis and need help right away, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This free service is available to everyone. You may call for yourself or someone you care about. All calls are confidential.
** If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appointment due to suicidal ideation, contact Aspen Counseling Services.