Suicide is a major public health concern in America. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), upwards of 40,000 individuals die by suicide every year. Suicidal ideation refers to the presence of persistent and distressing thoughts, fantasies, or contemplation of taking one’s own life, often accompanied by a desire or intent to die by suicide.
Some complex risk factors contributing to the rate of death by suicide include mental health issues like depression, social isolation, substance abuse, and access to lethal means. While we have become more aware of methods for overcoming loneliness and isolation, and other issues as a society, there is more to be done. One important way to impact a community near you is to know the warning signs of suicidal ideation, warning signs of suicide, and what resources are available, and how to access them.
The Warning Signs of Suicide
Giving Away Possessions: A person preparing for suicide may start giving away their belongings or prized possessions to friends or family members as a way of saying goodbye.
Sudden Calmness: Individuals who have made the decision to end their life may exhibit a sudden sense of calmness or relief, as they believe their emotional pain will soon end.
Making a Will or Final Arrangements: Preparing for the end of life may involve making a will, organizing finances, or making arrangements for their affairs, indicating a sense of finality.
Acquiring Means: Gathering the means to carry out suicide, such as obtaining a firearm, stockpiling medication, or acquiring dangerous substances, is a significant warning sign of suicidal intent.
Important Suicide Prevention Resources:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
- Website: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Description: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a wealth of resources, including a 24/7 crisis hotline (1-800-273-TALK), an online chat option, and extensive information on suicide prevention, warning signs, risk factors, and support for individuals in crisis. It also offers resources for friends and family.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP):
- Website: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Description: AFSP is a leading organization dedicated to preventing suicide and providing support for those affected by suicide loss. Their website offers educational resources, advocacy initiatives, survivor support, and information on local chapters and events.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC):
- Website: Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Description: SPRC is a federally funded resource center that offers a wide range of evidence-based resources and tools for suicide prevention. Their website provides access to training materials, research, publications, and state-specific resources.
- The Trevor Project:
- Website: The Trevor Project
- Description: The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization focused on providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth. They offer a 24/7 crisis hotline (1-866-488-7386), online chat, and a range of supportive resources for LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Suicide Prevention:
- Website: SAMHSA Suicide Prevention
- Description: SAMHSA provides comprehensive information and resources related to suicide prevention, including evidence-based practices, training, and guidance for various stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, educators, and community leaders.
- The Hardy Clinic:
- Website: https://www.thehardyclinic.com/book-an-appointment/
- Description: The Hardy Clinic provides mental health support via talk therapy with a trained and skilled professional. They utilize assessment, evidence-based practice, psycho-education, and resource building to assist individuals in receiving the support they need.
If you or a loved one are in the Metro-Atlanta or the surrounding area and are feeling overwhelmed, lonely or isolated, or happen to be contemplating death by suicide, please reach out to The Hardy Clinic for professional support and information on alternatives to self-harm and alternatives to suicide. We care about your mental health and safety. Our highly skilled clinicians can assist you in locating resources in your area that may alleviate your symptoms of distress. Suicide is a very final act, and we want to provide you with the support you need to identify other options.
In the case of emergency, please immediately reach out to any of the resources listed above.
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THIS ARTICLE WAS PREPARED WITH SUPPORT FROM OPENAI, CHATGPT