September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Did you know ONE out of every ELEVEN young people in our nation attempted suicide in the previous 12 months. It’s the second leading cause of death among young people in the United States, and the leading cause of death among youth in Oregon. In our country, we lose nearly 130 young people a week to suicide.
So, how can we prevent suicide. First, it’s important to know the signs.
“Signs can be subtle,” says Susan Holt, loss survivor of daughter Grace. “Pay attention to small signs, listen and seek help.”
Finally, know what to do and how to get help, if you suspect someone is struggling.
- Talk about it. While death is an uncomfortable subject for many people, it is important to be able to talk about it openly. Experts suggest that by discussing suicide, you are not putting the idea in their head or increasing the likelihood of suicidal behavior. It can actually come as a relief and decrease anxiety around it.
- Act. Encourage a suicidal person to get help immediately from a doctor, or call 911. DO NOT act alone.
- Don’t promise confidentiality. Keeping a promise is not as important as saving a life.
- Don’t fall into the “It’s not my problem or kid” syndrome. No one is automatically exempt. It impacts all ages, race and socioeconomic populations
- Finally, let them know there is a lifeline they can call for help: 1-800-273-TALK.
To access and print copies of these resources and others, visit HERE.