Suicide is on the rise. According to the CDC, there's been a 30% rise in suicides since 1999. What can we do to prevent it? First we need to look at what’s causing it.
Many factors contribute to suicide and surprisingly, a history of mental issues is not always one of them. In fact, a recent study from the CDC found that 54 percent of the people who killed themselves didn't have a previously known mental health issue; rather, they were dealing with other problems including substance abuse or physical health, relationship, work or money issues.
The study emphasizes the need to both prevent the circumstances associated with the onset of emotional issues and to continue support those with known mental health issues. The authors of the study stress the need for prevention, which includes “teaching coping and problem-solving skills to manage everyday stressors and prevent future relationship problems, especially early in life; promoting social connectedness to increase a sense of belonging and access to informational, tangible, emotional, and social support.”
So what are some warning signs of suicide?
According to the US Dept of Health & Human Services, here are 11 suicide warning signs:
These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
If you or someone you know has some of these signs, call the lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text Home to 741741 from anywhere in the USA.