Suicide Awareness & Prevention: What You Need to Know

Suicide is one of the most common causes of death, with almost 50,000 cases per year in the US alone. This number has increased in the last decade, and there are many different schools of thought as to the reason why. Suicide is preventable if you and your loved ones are aware of the symptoms and risks.

Suicide Awareness

Everyone should be aware of the risks and watch for these signs and symptoms in their friends and loved ones. Suicidal ideation is the term that mental health professionals use to describe when someone thinks about death or suicide. People who experience ideations do not always attempt suicide, but just the thoughts alone can be enough for concern. Untreated mental health conditions, compounding stress or a difficult life event can sometimes turn thoughts into consideration for action.

Symptoms and Signs of Suicidal Ideation

Knowing symptoms and signs of those who are thinking about suicide is very important.  If you or someone your know frequently thinks about death or what the world would be like without you in it you should seek help or recommend helping your loved one reach out..  A mental health therapist or a psychiatrist can help you with these thoughts and feelings. 

There are some signs and symptoms that you should be aware of so that you can notice them in yourself or others. Common symptoms and signs that should be addressed immediately include:

•             Talking about suicide

•             Buying a gun

•             Stockpiling pills

•             Severe mood swings

•             Preoccupation with death

•             Feeling trapped or hopeless

•             Substance abuse

•             Being self-destructive

•             Giving away belongings and money, putting affairs in order

If you notice any of these signs of suicidality, you should talk to your loved one and try to convince them to seek help. If you find yourself doing any of these things, it is time to get help from a licensed therapist or psychiatrist.

Suicide Prevention

The best prevention of suicide is to be aware and seek help when you need it or when it feels overwhelming.  Some people don’t know how to go about asking for help or worry they will not be able to find anyone to help them.  We are going to briefly list a few options.    

If someone is actively suicidal they need to call 911 or visit their local emergency room for immediate treatment. The ER will help you create a plan to get additional support once you are stabilized. 

There is a national suicide prevention hotline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, their phone number is 1-800-273-8255.  It is a good idea to have this number in your phone if you have been suicidal in the past or if you would like to be able to share it quickly.  According to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline the hotline “provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 150 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.”

You are not alone

You don’t have to face it alone. A mental health professional can help you to identify where these thoughts are coming from, how you are feeling, and what changes you can make in your thoughts and behaviors that can improve your outlook on life.

If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, we can help. Contact us today for more information about our affordable counseling services, or to schedule an appointment to get started. You are not alone, and you don’t have to fight your mind on your own. Seek help and discover how good life can be.

You can learn more about our counseling services in Paducah, Owensboro, and Henderson (beginning in November 2019) and our telehealth therapists who can see clients anywhere in the state by visiting our website at www.compasscounselingky.com