We all play a role in suicide prevention

October 7, 2016

Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death for men in the United States, and men die by suicide four times more often than women. More than twice as many people die by suicide than homicide in the U.S. However, because so many people are uncomfortable with the topic of suicide, it remains in the shadows, which prevents people from understanding those who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Everyone can play a role in suicide prevention. Being open and willing to talk about suicide is the first step to addressing it. The way that many of us learn the Heimlich maneuver to save someone who is choking, or CPR if someone is in cardiac arrest, we can learn to prevent suicide by understanding how to listen and respond.

Research shows that 70% of people who die by suicide told someone or gave warning signs, so it’s important  for the general public to not only understand suicide and depression, but also the role they can take in preventing it. Stopasuicide.org is  a comprehensive suicide prevention resource for the public that provides information on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and the action steps needed to get someone the help they need.

The next time someone mentions  suicide or you hear about a suicide on the news, don’t turn away. Turn toward it. Suicide prevention is a hopeful topic. By reaching out to people who are struggling, you provide hope to yourself that you can make a difference and hope to those struggling with the message that you care.

If someone is exhibiting any suicidal warning signs, you can assist them by contacting a mental health professional, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also call 911 or assist them with getting to the nearest emergency room.