National Suicide Prevention Week is September 8-14 and National Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th. The most recent 2017 data from the Center for Disease Control shows that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in North Carolina.
There is not a single therapeutic approach for all people who are considering suicide, but some of the warning signs someone might be considering suicide are:
- Expressions of hopelessness / helplessness
- Giving away prized possessions
- Personality changes
- Previous suicide attempts
- Verbal suicide threats such as “Maybe I won’t be around” or “You would be better off without me”
- Daring or risk-taking behavior
- Lack of interest in future plans
If you feel someone might be in trouble, you should trust your instincts. You should always ask direct non-judgmental questions to determine if the person has a detailed plan, because a specific plan reflects a greater risk. You should not leave the person alone if you feel they are in trouble. You should also talk to the person about your concerns as you make sure you are listening to the person and their thoughts. You should not act judgmental or shocked and you should not swear to secrecy.
Some protective factors for suicide prevention are effective clinical care for physical, mental, and substance abuse disorders, family support and community support, skills in conflict resolution, problem solving, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes.
The suicide prevention hotline is: 1-800-273-8255.