September is also known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people and the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. It is often the result of mental health conditions. Each year, about 42,773 Americans die by suicide. September 10th is marked as World Suicide Prevention Day and on this day and throughout this month, people are encouraged to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness, and connect individuals to treatment services.

Some signs and symptoms of suicide include:

  • Reckless behavior
  • Changes in sleep
  • Anger
  • Withdrawal
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Increased alcohol or drug use

If you or you know someone who is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, reach out for some resources and or support. It is important to know the signs – recognize the warning signs, find the worlds – learn how to have a conversation, and reach out – reach out for additional resources.

In raising awareness, there are many ways you can get involved. One thing is to support an organization whose main priority is to raise awareness and prevent suicide. For example, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has an event called Out of the Darkness where you can walk together, raising awareness and money for research and educational programs.

There are many ways to support those affected by suicide, de-stigmatize mental illness, and raise awareness so let the month of September be your starting point in this mission.

National Suicide Hotline & National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1 -800 – 273 – TALK (8255) – This line is for someone in a crisis or experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts.

NAMI Help line – 800 -950 – NAMI (6264) – This line is for someone looking for information, referrals, or support.

If you know someone who is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

Sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness. Suicide is Preventable. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.