According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. This number has risen over the last few years and is predicted to continue to grow if suicide prevention efforts are not taken. We live in a big world, and at times, we feel alone. Some people can pull themselves out of these feelings, but others need more help.
How To Know If Someone Needs Help
Suicide prevention is not an easy topic to discuss. Prevention is hard since there is no one way to detect if a person is having suicidal thoughts. It can be hard to spot at times if a person is suffering and considering taking their own life. There are a few small changes and signs that could mean a person is struggling.
Talking About Death/Hopelessness – This is the most obvious sign. People who are suicidal will talk down on themselves and even joke about killing themselves. They may also mention that they feel “useless” or that the world would be “better off without them”.
Social Changes – If someone you know becomes withdrawn or antisocial with no known cause, take notice. Isolation is one of the big warning signs in suicide prevention efforts.
Drug/Alcohol Use – Increased use of substances can lead to suicide. Drugs and alcohol are mind-altering and help people who are considering taking their life cope with those feelings. Sad thoughts and illicit substances are an extremely unhealthy and dangerous mix for anyone, but especially unsafe for people considering suicide.
Overall Mood – Sudden changes in mood, increased anxiety and anger are all emotional signs to look for in your loved one. This quick changes in attitude can be due to chemical imbalances in the body. The change may cause a person to have suicidal thoughts.
How Can You Help?
If you see any of these warning signs in someone you know, reach out to them. Let them know that you are here to support and help them through their hard time. Give your friend the suicide prevention lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255.
September is Suicide Prevention Month. We should always be willing to help those we believe are in need of a friend, but let’s stress our efforts throughout these next few weeks. We should all try and be more aware of the people around us.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, CADS is here to help. Give us a call at (563) 326-1150. Our lines are available 24 hours a day. We are here for you.
CADS offers a variety of substance abuse services focused on support, care, and treatment designed to meet the needs of families and individuals of all age groups in the community.