Archbold Northside Focuses on Suicide Awareness

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Archbold Northside Focuses on Suicide Awareness

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Every minute, a suicide is attempted, and on average one person dies by suicide every 16 minutes.

Each year, suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and mental health professionals at Archbold’s Northside Center for Behavioral and Psychiatric Care are encouraging you to know the warnings signs and risk factors that lead to suicide.

While not all suicides are predictable or preventable, education, quick response and appropriate treatment may be pivotal in avoiding a final act performed out of desperation.

Suicide affects all ages, cultures, socio-economic and religious groups.

“While the majority of suicides fall in this category, other factors like severe stress, chronic medical conditions, grieving from the loss of a loved one and substance abuse are prevalent as well.”     

Psychiatrist and Archbold Northside Medical Director James Darin Drury, MD recommends that it’s always better to err on the side of caution when suicide concerns exist.

“It’s very important to recognize and be attentive to warning signs, because delay could result in worsening of symptoms, or even a fatal outcome,” said Drury. “Nothing is worth a loved one dying.” Drury advises, “Many people tend to minimize the seriousness of depression or suicidal threats that are made.  We consider this very serious, because even comments made in an overly emotional state have some basis in reality.”

Recognize suicide warning signs.
  • Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
  • Substance use or abuse (increased use or change in substance)
  • Puposelessness (no sense of purpose or belonging)
  • Anger
  • Trapped (feeling like there is no way out)
  • Hopelessness (feeling there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism)
  • Withdrawal (from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies)
  • Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation)
  • Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)
  • Mood disturbance (dramatic changes in mood)
  • Talking about suicide
  • Looking for ways to die (internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.)
  • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Suddenly happier, calmer
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions
Begin a dialogue by asking questions. 

Talking about depression and suicide with a friend, family member or co-worker in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can be the first step in getting help and preventing suicide.

Questions okay to ask:

  • "Do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?"
  • "Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life?"
  • "Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?"
  • "Have you thought about what method you would use?"
Protect them from self harm.

Drury recommends that if warning signs are present, that you should eliminate the availability of means to self harm from the environment, such as removing guns from the house and keeping track of medication.

Seek professional help.

According to Terry, eighty percent of people who commit suicide have never had professional help. “Above everything, get the person help when they need it,” said Terry. “From personal experience I can say, the anger of pushing someone to get help doesn’t even compare to the guilt a family experiences when a loved one dies by suicide.”

“Taking someone to be evaluated at a psychiatric facility or emergency room will help determine the seriousness of the situation, and allow a professional to plan the best course of treatment,” said Drury. “If someone has to go to a psychiatric facility, this will ensure safety of the person and expedite appropriate treatment,” continued Drury.  “Most stays at our facility average three to seven days, followed by outpatient appointments.” 

Archbold Northside Ride for Awareness

In an effort to raise awareness about suicide, Archbold Northside will be holding the second annual Ride for Awareness, a “poker run” on Saturday October 8, 2011. Ride for Awareness will educate participants in recognizing early warning signs of suicide as well as raise money for the Patient Resource Center at Archbold Northside.

The poker run registration will begin at Archbold Northside at 9:00am and will conclude with a community event at 12:30pm at the Archbold Ambulatory Care Center.  Following the poker run, Archbold Northside staff encourages the community to join for food, 50/50 raffle, door prizes, live music and Memory Wall dedication.


For more information on the Poker Run or to learn more about preventing suicide, call Archbold Northside at 228-8131.