Thursday, January 31, 2008

Suicide

In today's Sertoma meeting (a local civic organization I'm a part of), the presenter was a local mental health official who spoke on suicide. Here are a few things of note from her presentation:
  • Asking a person whether or not they have had suicidal thoughts actually helps the person talk about this, and decreases the chances of suicide
  • More women than men attempt suicide
  • More men than women actually succeed in their suicide attempts
  • Alcohol abuse can increase suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • Eight out of ten teens who attempted suicide gave clear signals that they were considering suicide

Here are some warning signs:

  • Suicide threats
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Statements revealing a desire to die
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Prolonged depression
  • Making final arrangements
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Purchasing a gun or stockpiling pills

The biggest thing I got from the presentation was the need to talk with the person who seems to be suicidal, confronting them with their thoughts and taking them directly to someone who can provide help.

Do you know of anyone who has tried to commit suicide? What warning signs did you see?

4 comments:

bill said...

James suicide is at epidemic proportions in the United States. It is a real danger to all ages. Thanks for bringing this up on your blog.

James said...

Hi Bill. Good to hear from you. The presenter said that there are 3 suicides an hour, 75 in a day. That is like an airliner going down every other day, which would be viewed as a terrible tragedy. The loss of life through suicide is a just as great of a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I found out today that a girl who graduated from the high school I used to work at committed suicide last night. She graduated a few years ago but was an aide in the library. I worked closely with the librarian, so I knew this girl. Not good friends, but we talked on occasion. It's a small community around here, and as word spreads spreads, more and more are saddened. I feel horrible for her family and her loved ones.

I once had to deal with someone close to me who brought up suicide several times but wouldn't get help. I believed her, and knew she might be capable of it. But in the end, I came to the realization that she only used it as a tool to manipulate situations in her favor. How sad that someone would use the ending of a precious life for their own gain.

James said...

I am saddened to hear of your friend taking her life. May we share a message of love and hope to the world.