September is National Suicide Prevention Month! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. In addition, for every person who dies by suicide, 20 or more others attempt to end their lives. Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects individuals, families, communities and countries. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.
Warning signs are not always noticeable. While some people make their intentions clear, others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings quiet. Suicides are preventable with well-timed interventions. It is important to find the courage to ask difficult questions if you suspect someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis. Research shows that people do not start thinking about suicide just because someone asks them about it. If you suspect someone is suicidal, do not be afraid to ask if they are considering suicide and if they have a specific plan in mind. Be honest; let them know you are worried and want to help them. It is important to be direct and non-judgmental when talking with someone who is considering suicide or who is experiencing a mental health crisis.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there are local and national resources available to you. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours / 7 days a week. Please call 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255) if you need someone to talk to about your challenges, no matter how big or how small. Other resources include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.
Make an appointment with your Northwest Health doctor, nurse practitioner or a qualified mental health provider if you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideas. Help is available and well timed intervention is vital! Call us now: (816) 232-4417.