Article by Rian Razo, MA
World Suicide Prevention Day is Sunday, September 10th. According to the World’s Health Organization (WHO), every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide. For people aged 15-29, suicide is the leading cause of death.
How do we raise awareness to prevent suicide? We can all do our part to have discussions around mental health thereby making it easier for our loved ones to come to us for help and to seek professional help, if necessary.
There are signs that we can look out for in our loved ones that may indicate they are at risk or contemplating suicide. These may include:
- any previous suicide attempt
- acquiring a gun or stockpiling pills
- co-occurring depression
- putting personal affairs in order
- giving away prized possessions
- sudden interest or disinterest in religion
- drug and/or alcohol abuse or relapse after a period of recovery
- unexplained anger, aggression, and irritability
Examples of possible risk factors of suicide include:
- previous suicide attempts
- a family member who has died by suicide
- season of the year
- substance dependence
Undiagnosed and untreated mental illness is the biggest risk factor behind suicide.
National Today has tips on how to observe World Suicide Prevention Day. One way is through connection, by reaching out to someone that may need help. Next, you can discuss this issue in order to minimize the stigma of mental health. Make a post on social media platforms addressing this topic. Finally, you can search for resources for people to learn more about the reasons for suicide and how to prevent them
Pennock Center for Counseling is proud to be offering QPR training used to teach the public how to recognize warning signs that someone is contemplating suicide, how to approach these individuals with kindness, empathy, and compassion, and finally how to refer them for additional services. Awareness, instilling hope, and action are all used to prevent death by suicide.
If you are interested in setting up a training, please contact Jody Pierce or Rian Razo at Pennock Center. If you or someone you know are in need of resources, please reach out this resource list. Help is also available 24-hours a day by dialing or texting 988.