National Suicide Prevention Week
September 5-11, 2016 is marked as National Suicide Prevention Week. National Suicide Prevention Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Association of Suicidology which aims to make suicide prevention everyone’s business. Schools and colleges, hospitals, churches, and community health centers are all examples of organizations and institutions that may choose to become involved in this national event. Survivors of suicide loss, people who have been suicidal, loved ones, and anyone involved in suicide prevention are all welcome to get involved in National Suicide Prevention Week.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 41,000 Americans died in 2013 as a result of suicide – more than 1 person every 12.8 minutes – and suicide was the second leading cause of death for two different age groups, individuals aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 34. Recognizing signs and indicators before it’s too late can be lifesaving. Warning signs of suicide include substance abuse, purposelessness, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, withdrawal, mood changes, anger, and recklessness. Expanded warning signs of suicide include increased substance use, feelings of being trapped, withdrawal from friends and family, uncontrolled anger, no sense of purpose in life, and dramatic mood changes.
Acute risk signs of suicide include someone threatening to hurt or kill themselves, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill themselves. Additional acute risk signs include looking for ways to kill themselves by actively seeking available pills, firearms, or other means. Writing or talking about death, dying or suicide in circumstances when these actions are out of the ordinary.
If someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide please contact a mental health professional or call 1-800-273-TALK for a referral.