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September is Suicide Awareness Month

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. According to the Medical News Bulletin, the World Health Organization reports that approximately 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide each year. World Suicide Prevention Day is a day dedicated to a greater understanding of suicide as well as an awareness of ways it can be prevented. Ongoing support of those who have attempted suicide or families whose lives have been forever changed by suicide is also part of the mission of World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide crosses every racial, ethnic, and gender line. Rich and poor, young and old, professionals and unemployed, religious and non-religious people have all shared their experience with suicidal thoughts and actions. There are important signs to look for in someone who may attempt suicide. Recognizing any of these signs in someone you know can save a life.

  • Giving things away, writing a goodbye note, or telling loved ones, goodbye
  • Threats of self-harm
  • Expressing a want to die or hurt themselves
  • An increase in substance abuse
  • Reckless behavior
  • Extreme sleep patterns
  • Withdrawing from loved ones
  • Feeling a burden to others
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of helplessness/hopelessness

There are certain risk factors that may increase the chances that someone might attempt suicide. These include:

  • Mental illness
  • A history of trauma
  • Family history of suicide
  • Chronic physical illness, such as cancer
  • Experiencing a major loss
  • Serious financial or legal issues

One of the best suicide prevention strategies is to raise awareness of the issue.  The more people recognize the above risk factors or signs, the higher the chance more suicides can be prevented. It is also important to raise awareness in regard to the help that is available to anyone who is considering suicide.  Therapy or counseling, treatment for mental health issues, and making these issues less of a stigma in society will encourage people to get help when they need it. Family support is also essential.

A very important resource, available 24/7, is the suicide hotline. 1(800) 273-TALK (8255). Here is a link to all available suicide hotlines in the United States. The counselors at Lifeologie Counseling Raleigh are also available to help. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to us for help.