What are Some Warning Signs:
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It is the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 14. Suicide is also the eighth leading cause of death in children between the ages of 5 and 10. Suicide in children is often impulsive. This occurs because of strong overwhelming feelings such as sadness, anger, confusion, hyperactivity, etc. Warning signs in children may occur with their words, differences in behavior, withdrawal from friends/family and activities, complaints about physical symptoms, decline in schoolwork, and thoughts about death or dying.
According to the CDC, there are many other warning signs that include individuals feeling like a burden, feeling isolated, increased anxiety, feeling trapped or in unbearable pain, increased substance use, looking for a way to access lethal means, increased anger or rage, extreme mood swings, expressing hopelessness, sleeping too little or too much, talking or posting about wanting to die, making plans for suicide.
How to Help Yourself or Loved One?
While many signs of suicide may be apparent, there are things that we can do to prevent suicide as well as help others in our community. For example, make a safety plan. By making a safety plan you can detect and keep track of warning signs, create internal coping strategies, have emergency contacts listed as well as their phone numbers, and have primary physicians’ and local urgent care information.
Finding a safe place is another way to help prevent suicide. Going to a place where you feel comfortable and are able to maintain calm is essential. It is also crucial to tell someone you trust. This person will do their best to provide support and the necessary help. This person should be able to have meaningful and genuine conversations. If someone approaches you about suicide ideation or they have created a plan, it is important to provide the help that they need and simply just listen to them. Make them feel heard and that they are not alone.
Know that you are not “crazy.” As humans, we go through many emotions and phases in our lives. People endure trauma, depression, and struggle with many other mental health matters. It is natural to have a reaction to the things that happen to us. Other times our body plays a role that we sometimes cannot control. Genetics plays a role in our physical and mental health. It is crucial to keep in mind that getting the right help will be the most beneficial.
It is also important to stay away from things that can cause harm. This includes tools or sharp objects that someone could potentially use to hurt themselves. Staying away from any substances or alcohol can help stay in control of feelings and make conscious choices.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text the suicide and crisis hotline at: 9-8-8.
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