Suicide Prevention: Warning Signs and Ways to Help
By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., ACCESS Media Relations Specialist
August 30, 2018
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States with rates rising across all ages and genders each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates in Illinois increased 22.8 percent from 1999 to 2016. In the African-American community, suicide rates among children under the age of 18 have increased nearly 71 percent in the last decade alone.
With National Suicide Prevention Week beginning September 9th, we’re reviewing the signs that someone of any ethnicity may exhibit when contemplating suicide and what to do if you believe someone you know may be suicidal.
Potential Signs of Suicide
While mental health issues are a leading factor in many suicides, they are not the only cause. Other contributing elements can include relationship problems, substance abuse, and crisis in personal life, work or finances.
Here are some signs and symptoms of suicide to be aware of:
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Isolating oneself from social situations
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
- Looking for a way to harm oneself
- Feeling trapped, in unbearable pain or deep depression
- Experiencing increased anxiety, impulsiveness and unnecessary risk-taking
- Experiencing extreme mood swings or unrelenting bad moods
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Exhibiting erratic behavior in day-to-day life or routine activities
Know the Signs and Get Help
Pay attention to what someone says, does and feels. Ask if they are OK. Listen non-judgmentally. Provide emotional support, and encourage them to get the professional help right away. If you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or suicide, call 911.
At ACCESS, we offer several programs to help both adults and youth learn coping and problem-solving skills.
We also offer a wide range of behavioral health services and programs to help individuals live their best life possible. Our providers are clinically trained to connect you to the right specialists at the right time. Click here to schedule an appointment today.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text START to 741741. These services are free, confidential and available 24/7.