Suicide Prevention Week

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Elena Marquez, Staff Writer

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The week of September 9th through September 12th is National Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is an awful phenomenon that has been rising in our country for the past several years. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in our country and on average there are about 129 suicides per day. As a school and as a nation, we need to raise awareness on this epidemic and things we can do to try and prevent it. Speaking out can be hard and often overbearing, but something this serious cannot continue to go unspoken. Please understand as a parent, student, faculty member, or anything that you have to pay attention to these signs as they are real and highly serious. As people living through this, we must educate ourselves on this topic. 

 

What to do: 

  • Ask questions: be sensitive but give someone the opportunity to talk
  • Look for warning signs 
  • Contact immediate help: contact a trusted adult 
  • Offer support
  • Keep it confidential 

 

Signs of depression or suicidal thoughts:  

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching for lethal methods online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed.

Signs of self-harm:

  • Scars, often in patterns
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, bruises, burns or other wounds
  • Excessive rubbing of an area to create a burn
  • Ripping of skin around fingers, lips, arms, etc.
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand
  • Wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather
  • Frequent reports of accidental injury
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsivity and unpredictability
  • Statements of helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness

Hotlines: 

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800-273-8255) 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:  (800-799-7233)

Other Mental Health Hotlines: 

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA: (240-485-1001)    

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD): (800-233-4050)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): (800-826-3632)

International OCD Foundation: (617-973-5801)

National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED):  (800-931-2237)

Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA): (240-423-9432)

Sidran Institute: (410-825-8888)

Treatment and Research Advancements for Borderline Personality Disorder (TARA): (888-482-7227)