Be Aware of the Facts
- Suicide is preventable. Most individuals desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems.
- Most suicidal individuals give warnings.
- Talking about suicide does not make someone suicidal.
- Approximately 32,000 Americans kill themselves every year. Average of 1 person every 16.6 minutes.
- The 3rd leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds, and the 8th leading cause of death among all ages.
- Suicide is higher among the elderly (over 65) than any other age group.
- Four times as many men kill themselves as women, although 3 times as many women attempt suicide.
- Firearms are currently the most utilized method of suicide.
- Surviving family members are at a high risk for suicide and emotional problems.
WARNING SIGNS AND RISK FACTORS
Be Aware of the Warning Signs
Are you or someone you love at risk of suicide? Get the facts and take appropriate action. Get help immediately should you witness, hear, or see anyone exhibiting any one or more of the following:
- Someone threatening or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself.
- Someone talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.
- Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family and society
- Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Dramatic mood changes
HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WHO IS SUICIDAL
Here are some ways to be helpful to someone who is threatening suicide:
- Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Don’t dare him or her to do it.
- Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
- Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Talk to an adult!