Acting on signs and preventing suicide

Acting on signs and preventing suicide

Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 8:36 am

Suicide does not have to be the 3rd leading cause of death of people between the ages of 10 to 24. Untreated depression does not have to be the #1 cause of suicide. Suicide can be prevented. According to the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN), most people who are suicidal or think about committing suicide don’t really want to die, they just want the pain they are suffering from to end and about 80 percent of them give clear signs that they are considering it. Recognizing these signs and acting on them is the key to suicide prevention. TSPN says to look for: Talk of suicide, past suicide attempts, making plans, depression signs, strong desire to die, giving away cherished objects, making final plans, and increased alcohol or drug abuse. Just knowing the signs and taking them seriously can save a life. Simply asking a person if they are thinking about suicide and talking with them about it will decrease their risk of attempting suicide. If you believe someone is at imminent risk call 911 or take them to the emergency room immediately. You can also have the person call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK, where a trained counselor will give them help confidentially. Tennessee’s suicide rates are the 13th highest in the nation and the highest of any state east of the Mississippi. It is the ninth leading cause of all deaths in the state. Information on local crisis centers and suicide in Tennessee can be found on the TSPN website, www.tspn.org. Information about youth suicide and free suicide prevention awareness training can be viewed at www.jasonfoundation.com. Published in The Messenger 8.6.08

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