Suicide prevention is an important aspect of mental health awareness. According to the CDC and NIMH, suicide is among the top leading causes of death across the United States. Every year, suicide claims the lives of thousands of people, and rates have risen over the years. The team at Richmond University Medical Center wants you to know that help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here, we discuss how suicide can be prevented by getting the proper assistance.
Risk Factors and Warning Signs
Suicide affects adults, adolescents, and children. Risk factors typically include a family history of suicide, a serious or chronic mental illness, a history of trauma or abuse, a recent tragedy or loss, and even prolonged stress.
Suicidal thoughts can begin to appear subtly and seem innocuous at first, making them difficult to identify in yourself or someone you love. However, they may become more direct over time. Mental and behavioral warning signs of suicide may include:
- Aggressive behavior and mood swings
- Withdrawal from family, friends, and activities
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Giving away possessions
- Tying up loose ends and saying “goodbyes”
- Stockpiling pills or purchasing a weapon
The Importance of Addressing Suicidal Thoughts Immediately
Suicidal thoughts may be a symptom of a larger, treatable condition. Making an appointment with a healthcare provider at the first sign of struggle is a fundamental step toward improvement. If someone you know exhibits signs of suicide ideation, there are several things you can do to show your support as a friend or family member, such as:
- Calmly and patiently discussing your concerns
- Removing identified means for suicide
- Offering to call a mental health professional
- Avoiding arguing and raising your voice during your discussion
Please Note: In the event of any mental health emergency, dial 9-1-1.
Resources for Individuals in Crisis
The good news is that help is available 24/7 to those in need. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, immediately reach out virtually, in person, or over the phone. Individuals in crisis can look to a trusted friend or therapist for help, or they can call or text one of the crisis lines below:
- National suicide prevention lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis text line: Text HOME to 741741
- Veterans crisis line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or text 838255
The few minutes you take to reach out to an individual in need, or spread the word about suicide awareness can make all the difference in someone’s life.
Find Support on Staten Island, NY Today
Richmond University Medical Center is a leading provider of behavioral health services. Through the collaborative efforts of the Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine and Staten Island Mental Health Society, we offer several programs and services tailored to the needs of children, adolescents, adults, and families. Our Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) and mobile crisis team are available for assistance. For more information on suicide prevention and awareness, contact us today.