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What You Can Do To Prevent Suicide: Warning Signs, Risk Factors, And Support In A Crisis

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999 (CDC). With effective care, suicidal thoughts are treatable, and suicide is preventable. Below, NAMI information on warning signs and risk factors of suicide, and what you can do to support a suicidal loved one in a crisis. Together, we can shift the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention.

WARNING SIGNS

  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior
  • Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 911:
  • Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
  • Giving away possessions
  • Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family

If you are unsure, a licensed mental health professional can help assess.

RISK FACTORS

Research has found that 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition. Several other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:

  • A family history of suicide
  • Substance abuse. Drugs can create mental highs and lows that worsen suicidal thoughts.
  • Intoxication. More than 1 in 3 people who die from suicide are under the influence of alcohol at the time of death.
  • Access to firearms
  • A serious or chronic medical illness
  • Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide.
  • A history of trauma or abuse
  • Prolonged stress
  • A recent tragedy or loss

SUPPORT IN A CRISIS

When a suicide-related crisis occurs, friends and family are often caught off-guard, unprepared and unsure of what to do. The behaviors of a person experiencing a crisis can be unpredictable, changing dramatically without warning.

There are a few ways to approach a suicide-crisis:

  • Talk openly and honestly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?”
  • Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills
  • Calmly ask simple and direct questions, like “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?”
  • If there are multiple people around, have one person speak at a time
  • Express support and concern
  • Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
  • Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
  • If you’re nervous, try not to fidget or pace
  • Be patient

Find out more from NAMI’s guide to navigating a mental health crisis

SOURCES FOR HELP IN A CRISIS

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
Crisis Text Line send “NAMI” to 741741
The Trevor Project Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386

SOURCES FOR HELP ANYTIME

How to Ask Someone About Suicide (NAMI)

Find your local NAMI California affiliate to find out about our free support groups, classes, and education programs

In The News: NAMI Mt. San Jacinto

September 17, 2019

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999 (CDC). With effective care, suicidal thoughts are treatable, and suicide is preventable. Below, NAMI information on warning signs and risk factors of suicide, and what you can do to support a suicidal loved one in a crisis. Together, we can shift the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention.

WARNING SIGNS

Increased alcohol and drug use Aggressive behavior Withdrawal from Read More

    8/16/2019

    Yesterday, President Trump revisited his statements about reopening mental “institutions” and perpetuated false stereotypes. Two weeks ago, the president also called people with mental illness “monsters.”

    In response, National Alliance on Mental Illness Acting CEO Angela Kimball released the following statement:

    “The president should be talking about better care and earlier access to intensive treatment, not revisiting the shameful institutions of our past.

    “Words matter, Mr. President. ‘These people’ are our friends, neighbors, children, spouses. They’re not ‘monsters,’ ‘the mentally ill’ or ‘crazy people’ – they’re Read More

    NAMI Mt San Jacinto, will offer its NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program 

                September 17th 2019 Tuesdays

    Join class by October 1st in order to complete course

    It will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pmfor 12 weeks

    Location:  650 N. State St, Hemet CA 92543

    https://hemetf2f2019.eventbrite.com

     

    Join the class by October 1st in order to participate!

    Read More
    Jul 15 2019

    Arlington, VA – NAMI today released the latest installment in the “Strength Over Silence” docuseries highlighting the personal story of Chris Hubbard, offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns. Hubbard’s video was created to raise awareness about mental health conditions, help eliminate stigma and encourage people to seek help.

    “It can be difficult at times for anyone living with a mental health condition to receive the care they need, but everyone deserves equal access to the right treatment Read More

    Jul 10 2019

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Homefront program produces significant benefits for both in-person and online participants, according to a study published in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

    NAMI Homefront is an adaptation of the evidence-based NAMI Family-to-Family program designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of active duty military servicemembers and veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other mental health conditions. According to a RAND Corporation study, Read More

     

    Click here to sign up for the event: https://hemetpride19.eventbrite.com

     

    Join us for the 2nd Annual Hemet Pride event at Taquitz High School.

    Address is 4425 Titan Trail, Hemet CA 92545

    Come out and join the fun!

    Read More
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