Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the 2nd leading cause of death in people 10-34 years old. Chances are you or someone you know has been affected by suicide or a suicide attempt. If you are concerned that someone may be at risk of killing themselves, please speak to them privately and take their statements seriously. Encourage them to reach out to a mental health counselor, crisis line, and/or bring them to the nearest hospital for them to receive care.
- Talking about wanting to die or feeling like there’s no reason to live
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Giving away belongings
- Researching ways to kill themselves and/or gathering items to kill themselves
- Saying goodbye to loved ones
- A sudden improvement in their mental health. For example, someone who is typically depressed or irritable suddenly appearing happy. This may signal they have decided to end their life.
- A mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder
- A severe physical health issues such as chronic pain, cancer, or a traumatic brain injury
- A history of suicide attempts
- A family history of suicide
- Being a victim of abuse or neglect
- Experiencing a stressful life event such as divorce, death of a loved one, being bullied, or job loss
- Access to lethal weapons, medications, or substances
Protective factors include
- Proactive mental health care
- A network of social, familial, and community supports
- Coping strategies and stress management techniques
- Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicidal behavior
The national suicide and crisis hotline number has changed. If you need help, you can now call 988 to connect with a helping professional for resources or text “TALK” to 741741. Here is a website to with more suicide prevention resources: https://afsp.org/suicide-prevention-resources
If you or someone you know has been impacted by suicide and need support, please check out these resources at https://afsp.org/ive-lost-someone where you can find support groups, connect with other survivors, and a lot of helpful information on how to navigate a suicide loss.
As always, The Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry is here for all your mental health needs. Please call (847)440-2281 to schedule an appointment with one of our clinicians.
Amanda Enger, LCPC
The Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, www.AFSP.org