With over 47,500 Americans dying by suicide in 2019, suicide ranks as the 10th leading cause of death in the country. As terrifying as that staggering figure is, it’s the 1.38 million suicide attempts in that same year that should be even more alarming and ringing the bell loudly for increased focus on suicide prevention. If you or someone you love is struggling with stress, anxiety, and/or depression, please assure them that they matter and that they are not alone. On World Suicide Prevention Day, or any day, do not hesitate to discover how the compassionate depression treatment program at Alina Lodge can help by contacting us online or calling 833.685.1700 today.
Observing World Suicide Prevention Day
World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th. It is the perfect time to focus on suicide prevention, and on actionable and potentially life-saving ways you can help the special person in your life feel seen and get the help they need to overcome their struggles. Let’s look at the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, as well as some of the comprehensive suicide prevention methods useful in communicating with someone who may be having suicidal thoughts.
The Risk Factors for Suicide
There are some common events and universal situations that have been shown to increase the risk of suicide, including:
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- History of suicide in the family
- Substance use disorder
- Recreational drug use
- Bipolar disorder
- A breakup
- The death of a loved one
- Academic failures
- Legal trouble
- Economic stresses
- A sudden catastrophic event
- History of trauma or abuse
- Physical illness
- Chronic pain
- Exposure to a peer’s suicide or suicidal behavior
- Access to firearms and other lethal means of suicide
The Warning Signs of Suicide
According to the CDC, more than 50% of Americans who die by suicide do not have a known mental health condition. Of course, this does not mean the mental health issue was not present, only that it was not diagnosed. It is critical for suicide prevention to talk and listen to what your family and friends are saying and watch what they are experiencing. Many people may be quietly dealing with mental health issues that have not yet been diagnosed and therefore feel alone. It’s likely that they could benefit from a depression treatment program. Some of the warning signs of suicide to be on high alert for include:
- A sudden infatuation with death, dying, and/or suicide
- Comments about hopelessness or feeling worthless
- Remarks about having no reason for being alive or no purpose
- Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Pulling away from friends and family
- Partaking in reckless behavior
- Mood changes
- Talking about feeling trapped
- Saying that they are “a burden to others”
If you see any of these red flags pop up in people in your life, there are suicide prevention steps you can take to help. Here are some ways you can reach out and help before suicide claims another life.
Identify Those In Need of Help
Sadly, some people in distress don’t reach out for the help they deserve and need so desperately. By identifying the people in your life who may be at risk for suicide, you may begin the process of trying to connect them to the professional care and support that may save their life.
Help Them See That They Need Help
One of the methods of suicide prevention is to help people in your life see that they need help and are worthy of receiving it. When you teach people to recognize the difficult times where they need support and then go a step further to help them find it, you may play an important role in reducing the risk of suicide. On this World Suicide Prevention Day, look into the self-help tools and outreach campaigns available. Some of these may have the perfect messaging for getting through to those who are suffering.
Promote Access to Mental Health Care
One of the most important tips for suicide prevention to be aware of during World Suicide Prevention Day is that people at risk of suicide require timely access to depression treatment, suicide prevention interventions, and professional, skilled mental health care. Promote easy access to the mental health services that might save a life.
Reduce Access to Means of Suicide
You can help to prevent disaster those having suicidal thoughts from having access to lethal methods of self-harm. Some examples include:
- Educating family and friends about safely storing medications
- Locking up all firearms
- Ensuring others in your life are securing their weapons
- Encouraging gun safety locks to be used 100% of the time
Teaching Life Skills
Installing valuable life skills like critical thinking, stress management, and coping mechanisms, in addition to being properly treated for depression and anxiety, can be tools needed to help people safely address the many challenges they are facing in their everyday lives.
Building resilience is yet another important factor in suicide prevention because it can help you or someone you love develop the ability to cope with adversity and adapt to change in a healthy way. The world is a tricky place, seemingly getting harder to navigate by the day. For this reason, having the resilience to battle the negativity and fear, confusion, and distractions of social media and the news cycle, along with the thoughts that attack us from the inside, can literally be life-saving.
Promote Social Connectedness
Those who turn to suicide “as a way out” are often without the critical supportive relationships and human connectedness needed to live full, healthy lives. You can help enhance their connectedness by promoting social programs for specific population groups (like LGBT youth, for example) and encouraging participation in activities that reduce isolation and increase a sense of belonging and being seen as a worthy, beautiful person.
Learn More at Alina Lodge
Learn how a depression treatment program at Alina Lodge can help reduce the risk of suicide and be one more important step in living a happier and healthier life. Contact us using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 833.685.1700 today.