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  Shelby Leith   January 18, 2017   Illness 0 Comments

Suicide prevention is an important conversation to have

Velocity Care shares how to be there for someone in need

It's important to talk about suicide prevention.Suicide is a difficult subject. It’s often thought of as something that you shouldn’t talk about openly – until it’s too late. Suicide rates are on the rise in the United States. It’s the 10th-leading cause of death, with nearly 45,000 people losing their lives to suicide each year. These high numbers are proof that suicide needs to be something that we can talk about freely. Suicide prevention is an important conversation to have and itt’s imperative to understand how to spot the potential signs, so they can help their friends and loved ones in need.

What is suicide?

People who are experiencing suicidal thoughts are contemplating taking their own lives. Individuals may also experience overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, the inability to cope, despair and helplessness. Some may be previously diagnosed with depression or mental illness, while others may not. People who are considering suicide feel that their pain and suffering will never end and see no other way of stopping it than taking their own life.

Who is at risk?

Suicide can affect anyone at any point in their life; however, there are a few common factors that can put you at higher risk for having suicidal thoughts.

  1. History of depression or mental illness.
  2. History of abuse.
  3. Family history of suicide.
  4. Previous suicidal attempts.
  5. Alcohol or substance abuse.
  6. Feelings of hopelessness.
  7. Feelings of isolation.
  8. Recent loss (divorce, death, unemployment, financial problems).
  9. Unwillingness to seek help.

How to help

If you recognize that someone is experiencing one of the nine common factors above, you can help. We listed five ways you can support someone who may be experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts.

  1. Know the risk factors.

Being able to identify those who may be at higher risk for contemplating suicide will make it easier to provide help.

  1. Know the signs.

Any changes in behavior or sudden signs of depression or hopelessness could be a sign of suicidal thoughts.

  1. Get help.

If you suspect that a loved one may be experiencing depression or may be contemplating suicide, take him or her to your local urgent care clinic immediately. By talking to a doctor right away, you are taking an important step to prevent suicide. Talk therapy or medication can help to treat both the underlying problem and the symptoms it is causing.

  1. Remove any threats.

If someone is suicidal, removing any threats to his or her health will make any attempts of suicide much less successful. You should remove or lock up any firearms, poisons and medications in a safe place where they can’t be easily accessed.

  1. Be supportive.

Being there for someone who is suffering is very important. Be a good listener, offer words of positivity and most of all, don’t judge. We have no idea what others have been through or what they’re feeling. Unconditional love and support is the best thing that you can offer.

Suicide is a difficult subject that you shouldn’t try to handle on your own. Getting help is key, and the bigger the support group around someone who is suffering, the better his or her chances of recovery. At Velocity Care, our staff is committed to helping you and your loved ones and will ensure that you get the support you need. If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, please visit one of our urgent care clinics right away or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Learn about Velocity Care's healthcare services

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.  If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or  walk-in clinic for medical advice. 

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