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What to know for Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 5:11 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Jay Hendricks was joined by Kristi Edwards and Melanie Saiz of Centers for Children and Families to discuss Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month.

Centers shared the following:

Why is it important to talk about this difficult subject?

· According to the CDC, more than 47,500 Americans die by suicide every year.

· One way to help lower this statistic is to talk about it.

o Having conversations helps to reduce the stigma.

o Stigma, shame, disgrace—whatever you want to call it—prevents people from seeking help.

What Are some of the Suicide Warning Signs?

· Talking about wanting to die

· Talking about having no reason to live

· Giving away prized possessions

· Acting anxious or agitated

· Talking about being in unbearable pain

· Sleeping too little or too much

· Withdrawing or feeling isolated

· Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

· Showing rage or seeking revenge

· Displaying extreme mood swings

· Talking about being a burden to others

· Exhibiting daring or risk-taking behaviors

· Showing lack of interest in future

What do we do if we think someone might be exhibiting signs of suicidal thoughts?

Approaching someone who is struggling can be difficult, but it’s worth the discomfort to help save a life.

· ASK the person if they think about dying or killing themselves. Don’t hesitate to do this - asking will not put the idea in their head, nor will it make them more likely to attempt suicide.

· LISTEN…Start a conversation with the person and listen without judging to show you care. Create a safe space for them to share their feelings and vent.

· STAY NEARBY…Don’t leave the person alone. Stay with them or make sure they are in a private, secure place with another caring person until you can get further help.

· AVOID DOUBT…If you suspect the person could be a harm to themselves, take them seriously. Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

How can people seek support?

Reach out for help.

· Knowing & supporting a person who is struggling with their mental health can be stressful, but resources are available.

· Call the behavioral health number on the back of your insurance card, contact your Employee Assistance Program or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at1-800-273-8255

· Always consider calling Centers if you are unsure—we are here to help!

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