What If You Could Help Prevent a Suicide?
If you know anyone who you think feels hopeless, has said they have no reason to live, feels like they are a burden to others, is in chronic pain, or feels they have no way out of a situation…….THEY NEED YOUR HELP!
Suicide is not a mental illness in itself, but a consequence of many mental disorders, particularly major depression.
Most of us think suicide is something that happens to strangers - not to people we know. But someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds. That's 15,385 people this week and 800,000 people this year. If you have 1,000 Facebook friends, 60 of them have thought about suicide in the past year. Maybe you have too. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
PLEASE REACH OUT whether you are considering suicide, or you know someone with signs of deep depression.
Who Commits Suicide?
Suicide rates are highest in teens, young adults, and the elderly. People over the age of 65 have the highest rate of suicide. Although women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to be successful. Suicide risk also is higher in the following groups:
- Older people who have lost a spouse through death or divorce
- People who have attempted suicide in the past
- People with a family history of suicide
- People with a friend or co-worker who committed suicide
- People with a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
- People who are unmarried, unskilled, or unemployed
- People with long-term pain, or a disabling or terminal illness
- People who are inclined to violent or impulsive behavior
- People who have recently been released from a psychiatric hospitalization, which is often a very frightening period of transition.
- People in certain professions, such as police officers and health care providers who work with terminally ill patients
- People with substance abuse problems
What Are The Warning Signs For Suicide?
In many cases there are NO warning signs that a person is contemplating suicide. On the other hand, here is a list of possible warning signs that a person may be at risk for suicide:
- Excessive sadness or moodiness: Long-lasting sadness and mood swings can be symptoms of depression, which is a major risk factor for suicide.
- Sudden calmness: Suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has decided to end his or her life.
- Withdrawal: Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities also are possible symptoms of depression. This includes the loss of interest or pleasure in activities the person previously enjoyed.
- Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is considering suicide might exhibit a change in attitude or behavior, such as speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness. In addition, the person might suddenly become less concerned about his or her personal appearance.
- Dangerous or self-harmful behavior: Potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values his or her life.
- Recent trauma or life crisis: A major life crisis might trigger a suicide attempt. Crises include the death of a loved one or pet, divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, loss of a job, or serious financial problems.
- Making preparations: Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home. Some people will write a note before committing suicide.
- Threatening suicide: Not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it. However, every threat of suicide should be taken seriously.
What Can You Do?
In many cases, suicide can be prevented.
· Know the risk factors
· Be aware and alert to the signs of depression and other mental disorders
· Recognize the warning signs
· TALK TO THEM. Talk straight. Ask them if they are suicidal?
· Insist they get treatment and notify family and friends.
People who receive support from caring friends and family, and who have access to mental health services are less likely to act on their suicidal impulses than are those who are isolated from sources of care and support. If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs for suicide, don’t be afraid to ask if he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide. In some cases, the person just needs to know that someone cares and is looking for the chance to talk about his or her feelings. You can then encourage the person to seek professional help.
What Do You Do If Someone Is Talking About Suicide?
If someone you know is threatening suicide, take the threat seriously!
- Do not leave them alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
- Ask them to give you any weapons he or she might have. Take away prescription drugs, sharp objects or anything else that the person could use to hurt himself or herself.
- Try to keep the person as calm as possible.
- Call 911 or take the person to an emergency room.
Suicide is a common job for us at Bio-One and it is heartbreaking to watch families go through the shock, grief, and loss of their loved one. Please share this information with your family and friends.
We hope you never need our services but if you do, please know that we are here to HELP FIRST and deal with BUSINESS SECOND.
Bio-One Western Slope Colorado