September is recognized as National Suicide Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young adults in the United States, and the tenth leading cause of death overall.
It’s estimated that nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide each year.
Statistics show that men die by suicide more often than women, and the rate of suicide is highest in middle age, Caucasian men in particular.
Though the statistics are alarming, mental health professionals say that most suicide cases can be prevented.
“Family members and friends often have an opportunity to catch warning signs before a person actually commits suicide,” said Eugene Sun, MD, psychiatrist at Archbold Memorial Hospital’s Northside Center for Behavioral and Psychiatric Care. “People contemplating suicide may begin talking about feeling empty or alone. They may also talk about being a burden to others, and eventually will withdraw from family and friends. When family members and friends notice symptoms like this early, we are able to intervene and help as soon as possible.”
Archbold Northside provides treatment for a range of psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
Warning signs will begin to become more apparent as the suicidal person will often discuss killing themselves to others, even giving away belongings that are important to them.
“Noticing these few warning signs could save a life,” said Dr. Sun. “It’s important you seek help immediately for your loved one if you notice any warning signs of suicide.”
If you or someone you know is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call the Archbold Northside Helpline at 1.800.238.8661.
Family and friends often have an opportunity to catch warning signs before a person actually commits suicide. If someone you know exhibits the following warning signs, you should seek medical help immediately to prevent suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Talking about being a burden to others or being trapped
- Increase use of alcohol or drugs
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Acting reckless