Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States with over 48,000 people who died by suicide in 2018. Knowing the warning signs of suicide and where/how to get help can save lives since it is a tragic, yet preventable event. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, socioeconomic background, gender, or ethnicity. Suicide can affect anyone just like mental health conditions and it is often the result of an untreated mental health condition.
It has been shown that suicide is linked to mental health disorders, in particular depression and alcohol use disorders. Suicide rates are also highest amoungst vulnerable groups such as those who eperience discrimmination, indigenous people, the LGBTQ community, and prisoners.
The feelings of shame and stigma is what prevents individuals from reaching out for help or openly talking to others. Here are some warning signs and risk factors of suicide to look out for in yourself or others:
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behavior
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and the community
- Dramatic mood swings
- Impulsive and/or reckless behaviors
- A family history of suicide
- Substance use
- Access to firearms
- Serious of Chronic Medical illness
- Gender-Men are 4x as likely than women to die by suicide
- A history of trauma or abuse
- Prolonged stressRecent tragedy or loss
(Sourced from NAMI)
Click here for a guide on how to navigate a mental health crisis. As always, it is critical to get proper care and have access to all the necessary resources in order to prevent an event like this from occurring.
If you or any one you know show the warning signs and are experiencing a crisis, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to chat with a counselor which is available 24/7 across the US or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Conversations are free and confidential.