To The Herald-Whig:
Suicide is not chosen. It occurs when a person's pain exceeds their resources for dealing with pain. Few people have in-depth knowledge about suicide. Nevertheless, suicide touches most people's lives. Everyone knows of someone who has taken their own life: a relative, friend, neighbor or coworker, yet suicide remains shrouded in myth and shame.
Suicide can be prevented by educating people about the signs and symptoms of depression, encouraging treatment and providing emotional support. Sept. 5-11 is National Suicide Prevention Week, a time to raise awareness and hope.
Why would someone want to take their own life? Most suicides are caused by undiagnosed and untreated emotional disorders.
In some cases, a chemical imbalance causes depression. In other situations, a person's emotional pain leaves them feeling overwhelmed, hopeless or trapped. They can see no other solution to relieve those feelings.
Most suicidal persons want to live. They need support to get the help needed.
Talking about suicide will not cause someone to be suicidal. If you are concerned about someone you know, you can learn more on-line.
The Mental Health America of Illinois website, It Only Takes One, is designed for people of all ages. ReachOut.com, sponsored by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is specifically designed for people ages 15-24. Both websites are linked to the Blessing Behavioral Center page at www.BlessingHealthSystem.org.
For those without Internet access, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255), is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Quincy area also offers quality behavioral counseling services for those dealing with depression.
By educating ourselves we will bring suicide out of the shadows.
Blessing Behavioral Center