National Suicide Prevention Month: Help Save a Life

Sep 03, 2018

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. According to the World Health Organization, each year, close to 800,000 people die from suicide. For every adult suicide, there are an average of 20 attempted suicides. Suicide occurs throughout the entire lifespan, and is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds globally. Sadly, research has shown that 135 people on average are affected by a single suicide. Therefore, we all need to learn the warning signs and what to do to prevent suicides.

Know the warning signs: These 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.

• 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 swing.

What to say: If you think someone is thinking about suicide, assume you are the only one who will reach out. Here’s how to talk to someone who may be struggling with their mental health.

• Talk to them in private.

• Listen to their story.

• Tell them you care about them.

• Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide.

• Encourage them to seek treatment or to contact their doctor or therapist.

• Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice.

If a person says they are considering suicide:

• Take the person seriously.

• Stay with them.

• Help them remove lethal means.

• Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room.

Get Support: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255; New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline: 855-654-6735; CONTACT crisis helpline: 609-693-5834.

Text TALK to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7.

For more resources, call the nurses at the Long Beach Island Health Department at 609-492-1212.

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