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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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Helping individuals in crisis: September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Suicide is a national public health issue.  

The American Association of Suicidology reports that, in the U.S., nearly 45,000 individuals died by suicide in 2016. In addition, the organization said suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, with an average of one person taking his or her own life every 11.7 minutes. 

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health believes suicide – and suicide prevention – should continue to be part of a national conversation to:

  1. Help eliminate the stigma so individuals in crisis can obtain the care and treatment they need; and
  2. Promote resources for those looking to support friends and/or loved ones who are at risk of suicide. 

In September, Devereux joins others in observing the following dates/times of year related to suicide prevention and awareness:

  • September – Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
  • September 9-15 – National Suicide Prevention Week
  • September 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day

“All three observances carry a simple and potentially life-saving message: Suicide is preventable,” said Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Chief Medical Officer Dr. Yolanda Graham. “If you are suffering, help is just a phone call or text away. And if you know someone who is suffering, resources are available so you can be a lifeline to someone who needs comfort and support.” 

Recognizing the warning signs

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) encourages us all to understand and recognize the following warning signs:

  • Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here,” but can become more overt and dangerous
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thinking about death
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior 

What you can do … 

  • For individuals in crisis: If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to a friend, family member or doctor, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on its Crisis Text Line.
  • For those who want to help their friends/loved ones: Reach out and check-in regularly. Listen and encourage the individual to seek professional help. To learn more, visit NAMI’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Resources page.

Devereux can help

Devereux is committed to providing trauma-focused care – along with innovative programs and services – for children, adolescents and adults with emotional and behavioral disorders in community and residential settings. Click here to learn more about our Specialty Mental Health programs and services. 

To learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, and its culture and history of helping individuals and families in need of hope and healing, click here.

  

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