September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Dr. Carlin Barnes and Dr. Marketa Will are Harvard-trained psychiatrists co-authored a book titled “Understanding Mental Illness: A Comprehensive Guide To Mental Health Disorders For Family And Friends.”
WHAT ARE THE SOME OF THE COMMON WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE?
- Threats or comments about killing themselves – “I wish I wasn’t here”
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behavior
- Social withdrawal
- Dramatic mood swings
- Preoccupation with talking, writing or thinking about death
- Impulsive or reckless behaviors
- Putting affairs in order, saying goodbye, giving away possessions
ARE THERE ALWAYS SIGNS? OFTEN FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS REPORT HAVING NO IDEA THEIR LOVED ONE WAS SUFFERING.
There are not always warning signs.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF SUICIDE?
- Having an underlying mental illness
- A family history of suicide
- Substance abuse and intoxication
- Access to firearms
- A serious or chronic medical illness
- A history of trauma or abuse
- Prolonged stress
- Recent tragedy or loss
- Gender (men are four times as likely to commit suicide than women)
- Advancing age
- Race (Native Americans and Caucasians more likely than other races to complete suicide)
WHERE CAN PEOPLE GET MORE INFORMATION
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255;
- Samaritan’s Crisis Hotline: 1-212-673-3000;
- The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386.Community resources and advocacy organizations: