Friday, May 25, 2012

Suicide Prevention

Suicide causes more than 37,000 deaths in the United States each year and is devastating to family, friends and communities.  SAMHSA estimates that for each person who dies by suicide, 5 to 10 other people are severely affected by the loss.  The end result is that hundreds of thousands of people are affected by suicide each year.

Youth are the most at risk for suicide, but it affects people of all ages.  To date, it’s the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds, with gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents in grades 7 through 12 more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as heterosexuals within the same age range.

There is a critical need for suicide prevention efforts and to help those in crisis.  Below are tips from SAMHSA about how to help someone who may be considering suicide:
  • Allow the person to express his or her feelings without passing judgment or acting shocked.
  • Listen, and don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong.
  • Be direct and get involved. Talk openly and matter-of-factly, showing interest and support for the person at risk.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy – seek support and professional help for the person at risk.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available.
  • Get help from people or agencies that specialize in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
For more information or to help someone who may be considering suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255.)  The line is open 24 hours a day through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

1 comment:

Jon @ Bayon Testing said...

I had no idea suicide was the third most common cause of death for young teenagers. That's a horrible statistic and something I hope we all can improve over time.