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In the News Suicide Prevention Awareness Month– Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Suicide is a problem that affects people of all different walks of life. Many of us know someone, such as a friend, family member or coworker that has committed or attempted suicide. Over the past 20 years, suicide rates have risen rather steadily in the United States. Suicide is currently ranked as the 10th highest cause of death of among all ages.

During the month of September, we celebrate Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, as suicide is preventable and together through treatment and support, we can help reduce the number of suicides.

Warning signs of suicide

  • Feeling extreme depression, guilt, or shame.
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • Talking about, or preoccupation with, death or suicide.
  • Preparing for death, such as updating/preparing a will, giving away possessions, or taking steps to access lethal means (buying a firearm, acquiring quantities of pills/medication, researching ways to die).
  • Exhibiting a dramatic change in behavior, including withdrawal from friends or usual activities, increased alcohol/drug use, difficulties in sleeping or eating, decreased self-care.

What to do if someone you know is experiencing a crisis or hurting

If you believe someone needs help, we encourage you to follow the ACE (Ask, Care, Escort) suicide prevention model, with these easy-to-remember steps:

Ask – Ask, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” Although it may feel awkward, research shows that people having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks them in a caring way.

(Continued in Part II…)