It is National Suicide Prevention Week in America, and open dialogue about suicide is more important than ever before.
Suicide is a major public health problem, but it is also very preventable.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 34,598 Americans died by suicide in 2007.
You can help someone in your life get help.
Hearing a friend or family member express that they want to commit suicide is very upsetting.
Some people think that talking the person out of their suicidal thoughts or ignoring their comments is the best way to go about the situation.
However, action is always the best choice.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following:
Is your loved one in danger of acting on their suicidal feelings? First, remember to be sensitive. Then, ask direct questions, such as:
Asking about suicidal thoughts won’t make someone self-destruct. Actually, talking about their feelings might help.
It’s important to know that it may not always be obvious that someone is considering suicide. Here are some common signs you may be able to notice:
Get emergency help if you believe someone is in danger of committing suicide or has made a suicide attempt.
It’s always better to ask a trained professional to help if you feel that you cannot handle the situation yourself.
Your loved one may have to be hospitalized until the crisis has passed.
If you are in a crisis and need help right away, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This free service is available to everyone. You may call for yourself or someone you care about. All calls are confidential.
I am a part of the Break the Silence Blog for Suicide Prevention Campaign! Check it out here.
Suicide and suicidal thoughts. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/suicide/MH00058
Suicide in the US: Statistics and prevention. Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml
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Last reviewed: 9 Sep 2013