Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and in recent years there have been some really high profile suicides that have brought more awareness to suicide.  Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade and recently country singer, Luke Bell, was a suicide.  Suicide still continues to be an epidemic in our country, particularly in veterans. 

Some signs to watch for are listed here, but there are many more signs:

  1. Sudden happiness or calmness when they were previously depressed or anxious.
  2. Giving away things that are important to them, putting their affairs in order, cleaning where they normally didn’t.
  3. Feeling like they are a burden to others, feeling trapped, or feeling like they have no reason to live.
  4. Withdrawing from friends and family.

Loneliness is also a huge problem in smaller areas, especially for the elderly.  Reach out to your neighbors, even if it is just to say hi.  Check on family members just to let them know you are thinking of them. 

There is a new number, 988, for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which is available 24/7. If you would prefer other options to a phone call, the Lifeline also has texting capability, simply text 988, or you can use the chat feature on 988lifeline.org.  If you are feeling suicidal or know someone who is please call or text 988.   In addition, the Emergency Department at Windom Area Health is open 24/7 with access to local crisis support. 

If you are not in crisis, but are looking for mental health support, learn more about the Psychiatry/Mental Health Services at Windom Area Health by clicking here, or call 507-831-0670 to set up an appointment.

By Darla Miles, PMHNP-BC

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