Archbold raises awareness for suicide with benefit

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Archbold raises awareness for suicide with
Ride For Awareness

Tuesday, September 2, 2012

Every minute, a suicide is attempted.

On average, one person dies by suicide every 16 minutes.

Suicide is a serious public health concern. It’s the eleventh leading cause of death for all Georgians and the third most common cause of death among youth 15-24 years old and young adults 25-34 years old. Nearly 30,000 Americans lose their life to suicide each year.

September is National Suicide Awareness Month, and mental health professionals at Archbold’s Northside Center for Behavioral and Psychiatric Care say that knowing the warnings signs and risk factors are key to suicide prevention.

In an effort to raise awareness about suicide, Archbold Northside will hold the third annual Ride for Awareness, a poker run and car show on Saturday September 29, 2012. Ride for Awareness will educate participants in recognizing early warning signs of suicide and will raise money for Thomas County Family Connection.

“While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, suicide affects all ages, cultures, socio-economic and religious groups,” said Jim Terry, Archbold Northside administrator.

Terry suggests that some common mental health illnesses may be linked to suicide, like severe stress, chronic medical conditions, grieving from the loss of a loved one and substance abuse.

Though all suicides aren’t predictable or preventable, quick response and appropriate treatment may be pivotal in preventing a final act performed out of desperation.

“Eighty-percent of people who commit suicide have never had professional help,” said Terry. “As a family member or friend, the most important thing you can do is to identify risk factors and recognize warning signs early. Delaying treatment could result in worsening of symptoms, so it’s important to be attentive to warning signs. And above all else, get your loved one the help they need to prevent a fatal outcome.”

Poker run registration will begin at Archbold Northside at 9:00am. Following the poker run, the community is invited to join at the Singletary Oncology Center for a car show, food, 50/50 raffle, door prizes and live music. As a way to honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones lost to suicide, the Archbold Northside Suicide Memory Wall will also be available at the event.

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


How to identify suicide warning signs and help a loved one at risk:

Suicide warning signs include:

  • Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
  • Substance use or abuse (increased use or change in substance)
  • Purposelessness (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 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.

If warning signs are present, 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.

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.

Archbold Northside also offers a 24 hour HELPline, through which mental health professionals can advise the need for hospitalization or other treatment. To access Archbold Northide’s HELPline free of charge, call 1.800.238.8661 or 229.228.8100.