To The Herald-Whig:
Suicide prevention is everybody's business.
National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week is Sept. 8-14. Although there is no single cause of suicide, one of the risks is social isolation. Not talking about suicide can have a devastating outcome with over 42,000 Americans committing suicide each year. You can reduce suicide by simply connecting with one another and talking about mental health. You may not always know who is struggling, but we do know one conversation can save someone in your life -- your child, parent, partner, friend or colleague.
Something to look for when you're concerned a person may be suicidal is changes in their mood and behavior, especially after a painful event such as a loss or other major change in their life. Most people who commit suicide exhibit warning signs by what they say or do. If you think someone is considering suicide, assume you are the only one who will reach out.
Become aware of the risk factors and warning signs that can lead to suicide that can be found on the Adams County Suicide Prevention Alliance web page, acsuicideprevention.org. If a person says he or she is considering suicide, take it seriously; stay with them, remove lethal means and get them to mental health services or an emergency room. Always let them know suicide is never the answer.
Life is precious, and taking a minute to reach out to someone can change and save their life. Help is just a phone call away. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255).
NCC, ACS, LCPC
Adams County Suicide Prevention Coalition