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Filed Under: Educational
Suicide Prevention Month 2022: Signs, Risks, and Resources

Suicide Prevention Month 2022: Signs, Risks, and Resources

DISCLAIMER: 

We are not medical professionals. We are here to open up the dialogue for mental health. This blog promotes healing, but it is not a major mental health resource. If you or anyone else you know is struggling we are here to provide you with the proper resources. We know, asking for help can be scary, but we would be happy to point you in the right direction. If you are nervous about reaching out to a crisis hotline and you want to learn more information feel free to reach out to us. We are here for you. That is why we created this blog. This page is to provide you with universal resources and ways to educate yourself and others.

It is Suicide Prevention Month and we wanted to bring attention as to why educating yourself and others about the signs, risks, and resources about suicide is so important.To put it into perspective, as to why this issue is a national, and even a global crisis…

 

Suicide Statistics: According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), “Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the US. In 2020, almost 46,000 Americans died by suicide and there were 1.2 million suicide attempts. In the US, middle-aged white men are at the highest rate of suicide. On average there are 130 suicides per day.” Additionally, the CDC states that “suicide rates have increased 30% between the years of 2000 and 2018 and declined at 2019 and 2020.” But that does not mean that suicide prevention is any less important or that the numbers are any less alarming. 

 

According to Web MD, research suggests that the best way to prevent suicide is to know the risk factors, be alert to the signs of depression and other mental illnesses, recognize the warning signs for suicide, and intervene before it’s too late. Unfortunately, warning signs aren’t always as visible regarding someone in crisis, someone suicidal, or someone depressed. However, there are verbal and physical cues and signs when people are struggling that you should try to be aware of- we mention more on this below. It doesn’t hurt to check in on a friend or family member that may or may not be in crisis mode. You truly never know what someone is going through behind closed doors, so regular check-ins are always a good idea! It can also help ensure that you are here for them every step of the way. Let them know that you are a resource and that you are here for them if they ever need to ask for help.

While we are not mind readers, we should try to be aware of crises or potential crises. Check in regularly with yourself and your friends and family. Talk to them privately, without judgment, and with compassion. Let them know that you are here for them and that there are resources readily available. Even if you or they are not struggling with thoughts of suicide, you don’t want to wait until it is too late. When life starts to get tough, reach out to someone! Although it can be difficult it’s better to be proactive- trust us, this is something we (writer’s of this blog) have been through and are so happy we reached out for help. 

If you or a friend relate to these signs, cues, and risks, and it is disrupting yours or their daily life please seek medical professional help! You may or may not be experiencing feelings of suicide, but if you or someone you know is struggling it is best to seek help before it is too late. Asking for help is a sign of strength. You are strong, resilient, and not alone. 

 

Risk Factors:

  • Mental Illnesses/ Mood Disorders 

  • Abuse of drugs/ and or alcohol

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)

  • Family history of suicide

  • History of trauma or abuse

  • Serious or chronic illnesses

  • Recent tragedy or loss

  • Social Isolation

  • Lack of access to behavioral health care

  • stressful life events: rejection, breakups, life transitions, financial crises

Possible Warning Signs:

  • Unusual behavior- extreme mood swings, agitation, anxiety

  • Access to lethal means- firearms, drugs

  • Physical pain- unbearable amount of pain

  • Rage, revenge

  • Changes in sleep patterns- insomnia/ oversleeping

  • Detached from life- social withdrawal 

  • Changes in appetite

  • Weight changes

  • Increase use of drugs/ alcohol- substance abuse

  • Hopelessness

  • loss of interest in life

  • Extreme fatigue

Verbal and Non-Verbal cues/ indicators: 

  • Talking about death

  • Talking about feeling hopeless

  • Mentioning strong feelings of guilt or shame

  • Saying others would be better without them

  • Giving away personal items

  • Saying goodbye randomly to friends and family

  • Talking about feeling like a burden

  • Struggling with “typical” day-to-day life

Resources: 

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Free and confidential support 24/7 to help people in distress across the United States.

Text or call 988 or (1-800-273-8255)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA): A free confidential information service that provides treatment and support referrals 24/7 to help people facing mental illness and addiction.

1-800-662-Help (4357)

The Trevor Project: Provides free, confidential support 24/7 to LGBTQ youth via a helpline, text and online instant messaging system.

1-866-488-7386

Crisis Textline: Provide free, confidential support via text message 24/7 to those in crisis situations.

Text “Home” to 741741 for support.

National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI): One of the largest mental health organizations. They have support lines as well.

800-950-NAMI

Or Text “NAMI” to 741741

Learn More:  

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/recognizing-suicidal-behavior

https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/factors/index.html

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Common-with-Mental-Illness/Risk-of-Suicide

https://afsp.org/suicide-statistics/

https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html