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September 3, 2019
September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which provides us with an opportunity to discuss resources, warning signs and risk factors surrounding this highly stigmatized and taboo topic.
According to the CDC, suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death. These startling statistics reiterate the value of understanding the potential warning signs that could lead to suicide, and why it's so important to know what to do during a crisis.
Know the signs and risks
Suicide can be preventable, and it starts with knowing what to look for and how to address the situation. While, it's not always possible to know exactly what others are feeling or thinking at any given time., there are certain signs to watch for. If you notice an individual is suddenly starting to demonstrate aggressive, impulsive or reckless behavior, this may be an indicator that something is very wrong. Increased use of alcohol or drugs is another warning sign of suicide.
Some might notice their loved one is collecting pills, or contemplating the purchase of a weapon. Another not as obvious sign might be organizing financial statements or paying off debt. You might even notice a loved one trying to give away items. If you are unsure about whether or not you are witnessing warning signs, you can talk to a licensed mental health services provider, such as Clearwater Counseling, PC, which can help assess the situation to avoid the worst possible outcome.
A family history of suicide or a history of trauma and abuse can be potential risk factors., as well. Additionally, if you know someone who has recently experienced a tragedy or loss, check in with them. It's always best to be safe versus sorry.
No one wants to be caught off guard and underprepared when a suicide-related crisis occurs. Although it may be difficult, be sure to speak honestly and ask questions when the incident occurs. Also, remove any potential weapons from the general area. Calmly offer support or assistance. Maybe offer to call a professional who can help with the situation. It's important to remember to never make the individual feel threatened or ashamed. Instead, demonstrate patience and kindness.
Resources are available
Again, suicide can be preventable, and help is available. If you suspect a loved one might be displaying suicidal thoughts, don't hesitate or delay. Reach out if you know someone is struggling. Offer to help them receive the professional help they may need.
Our therapists at Clearwater Counseling, PC are specially trained to handle crisis situations and suicidal thoughts. To schedule an appointment with Clearwater Counseling, PC, please call 308-210-8487 or email [email protected]
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.