Suicide Prevention Requires Intervention
Last month suicide prevention was brought to the attention of our nation during National Suicide Prevention Month. It was 30 days dedicated to informing the public about the signs, dangers and help for those who contemplate suicide. This is a major issue in our world and in our nation. Over 2,000 individuals around the world end their own lives every day. Here at home, 22 military veterans commit suicide each day. It is our number three cause of death overall and the number one cause of death for those ages 15-24. Suicide claims the lives of young, old, black, white, rich or poor. It’s a concern which affects us all.
Hopelessness is at the root of suicide. When a person feels there will be no end to their current pain and no way out of their present situation, they feel trapped and without options. Thus, when a person mentions suicide, it’s not an empty threat. They are letting you know that they feel they have no real choices. But those feelings are false, because 80-90 percent of people with chronic depression respond well to treatment. Don’t brush off a person’s offhand reference to suicide. Make sure they get help. Suicide is preventable, but someone must intervene.
At the Family Guidance Center we offer a 24/hour suicide hotline (1-888-279-8188). We also offer treatment. A quarter of a million people per year survive attempted suicide. Prevention is even more successful. But it takes you being willing to get involved. Even if a person doesn’t mention suicide outright, ask them if they have been contemplating it. Then, make a call or bring them by. We have mental health professionals that are available to talk to them at all times.