This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. The week is designed to raise awareness about suicide while helping all of us learn more about the impact of suicide and the resources available to assist people who may be struggling with thoughts of self harm. This is especially important for those programs like Crossroads who work with people who struggle with addictions as they are at a much higher risk for suicide.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US and nearly 45,000 Americans die from suicide each year. These are incredibly high numbers and it is worrisome to know that the rate of suicide attempts amongst people with substance use disorders are six times higher than that of the general population. Those that struggle with gambling addiction are even more vulnerable. The National Center on Problem Gambling reports that people with gambling problems are twice as likely to kill themselves as other addictions. These statistics on suicide are a call to action for all of us to be vigilant in our awareness of those around us whose life issues may be pushing them towards self harm.
It is hard to know the “Why” that someone attempts or is successful with suicide. What we do understand, however, is that there are some indications that a person we know may be struggling. The following are 12 suicide warning signs that the Centers for Disease Control have identified.
- Feeling like a burden
- Being 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
If someone you know is displaying any of the above warning signs or if you are just concerned that a friend or loved one may be considering some self harm behavior call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. By making the call you may be the one that saves a life.