Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month, we’d like to help you protect yourself and your loved ones from this tragic health issue by sharing the signs of suicide and providing resources that are available to you.
In January 2005, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA of NYC) launched the Suicide Prevention Lifeline where anyone can call and be connected to a skilled, professionally-trained counselor at a crisis center in your area for free. To reach someone right away, you can dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and speak to a counselor 24/7.
Know the warning signs of suicide and be aware when friends or family members exhibit them, especially following a sudden change, painful loss, or tragic event. Encourage your loved one to talk with someone, whether it be the hotline above or a local mental health professional. While not a hotline for emergency situations, KVC Kentucky offers in-home behavioral healthcare services to children, adults and families in need of ongoing therapy. If you know someone with mental health concerns or treatment needs, call 859-254-1035 to make a referral for in-home behavioral healthcare services.
Below are the 17 warning signs of suicide, as seen on the save.org website:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
- Preoccupation with death.
- Suddenly happier, calmer.
- Loss of interest in things one cares about.
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
- Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
- Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.
A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.
In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit your local emergency room.
Other great resources available in Kentucky can be found at Kentucky Suicide Prevention.
About KVC Kentucky. KVC Kentucky, headquartered in Lexington, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization that provides behavioral health services, foster care, family preservation and diversion, and other family-related services.