Ever wonder how you can help prevent suicide in Allegany County? In support of SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week, and as a member of Partners for Prevention, the Allegany County Suicide Prevention Coalition strives to educate community members about suicide prevention, intervention and postvention efforts. To prevent suicide, we need your help to reduce stigma, build awareness, and support those at-risk for suicide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on the ten leading causes of death in the United States recently. Tragically, suicide—too often a consequence of untreated mental illness and substance use disorders, and as such a preventable condition—remains on that list as the 10th leading cause of death for adults and the second-leading cause of death in our youth. Suicide rates increased from 29,199 deaths in 1996 to 47,173 deaths in 2017. However, with the appropriate level of care and treatment most people can find hope for a better tomorrow.
Know the Risk Factors
What are the contributors to the state of mind that ends in a person taking their own life? Risk factors can include any of the following:
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders.
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders.
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies.
- History of trauma or abuse.
- Major physical illnesses.
- Previous suicide attempt(s).
- Family history of suicide.
- Job or financial loss.
- Loss of relationship(s).
- Easy access to lethal means.
- Local clusters of suicide.
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation.
- Stigma associated with asking for help.
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment.
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma.
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet).
Know the Warning Signs
Although not everyone exhibits warning signs, being able to identify them may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide; especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If any of the following signs are present, seek help immediately.
Immediate Risk of Suicide
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Suddenly feeling happy or at peace because he or she has come to a resolution.
WHAT TO DO
- If your life or someone you know is in imminent danger, CALL 911.
- Offer help and support.
- Stay with the person until assistance arrives.
- Remove any objects that may be used for harm.
- For additional assistance, call the NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE 1-800-273-5233 (TALK) or the Allegany County Crisis Hotline 1-888-448-3367.
WANT TO LEARN MORE
Join the Allegany County Suicide Prevention Coalition at any of our upcoming workshops; including SafeTalk, Talk Saves Lives, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), and Youth Mental Health First Aid, or share your time and support as a member of the Coalition.
Are you a survivor of suicide loss? Support Groups are available in Cuba at the Cuba Cultural Center on the second and fourth Thursday of each month or the Wellsville Youth for Christ Center on the second Tuesday of each month.
To learn more, like us on Facebook or call Beth Blauser at 585-593-5223, ext. 1010.