September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention day. It is a great time to increase awareness regarding suicide prevention and engage community members in local suicide prevention efforts. Preventing suicide needs a comprehensive approach and everyone one of us plays a role in suicide prevention.
Our rural areas have higher rates of suicide, professional help can be miles away and everyone needs to know how to access help, if, and when it is needed. We need to be able to recognize the signs of suicide and everyone should have the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number in their contacts on their phone. One of the most important things we can do as prevention specialists and media is to emphasize that suicide is preventable, and recovery is possible. Eighty percent of people that seek treatment for depression have positive outcomes in 6-8 weeks and we need to fight the stigma that prevents people from getting help.
Signs of distress include:
Feelings of hopelessness
Talking or thinking about death or suicide
Withdrawing or feeling isolated
Dramatic mood changes
Feelings of seeing no reason to live
Increased alcohol or substance use
Feelings of being a burden or trapped
Extreme mood swings
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 800 273 8255 (TALK)