National Suicide Prevention Day


The Saline Memorial Behavioral Health program is hoping to raise awareness about suicide in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, every year, more than 800,000 people die from suicide, which roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds.

The number of lives lost each year due to suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

Global suicide rates are highest for people 70 years and older, and it is the second leading cause of death in the 15- to 29-year-old age group worldwide.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, there are possible warning signs that a person is considering suicide. A suicidal person may:

  • Talk about suicide, death, and/or no reason to live; express a sense of hopelessness.
  • Withdraw from friends and/or social activities.
  • Have a recent, severe loss (especially a relationship) or a threat of a significant loss.
  • Experience drastic changes in behavior; lose interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.
  • Give away prized possessions.
  • Have attempted suicide before.
  • Increase their use of alcohol or drugs.

What you SHOULD do if you are worried about someone at risk for suicide is be direct. Ask the person, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”

Also, listen to the person in crisis. Let the person cry or scream if needed in order to get their feelings out. It is not safe to leave them alone for any period of time. Make sure someone stays close by the person – in the same room, in visual contact – and get outside professional help immediately.

If it is possible, remove the method of suicide (the gun, pills, knife) in a safe manner, if you are not in any danger of being harmed while removing them.

What you SHOULD NOT do in such a situation is underestimate a threat or be judgmental. Donʼt debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad. Don’t talk about suicide in judgmental terms, such as “doing something dumb.” Also, try not to act shocked. This could put distance between you and the suicidal person, and they may feel like you can’t understand. Show them that you want to understand and that you are not going to turn away or reject how they feel.

Ultimately, the person considering suicide must get help from experts. Saline Memorial Behavioral Health has two separate specialized psychiatric inpatient programs. Saline Memorial Behavioral Health’s Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Program (for ages 18 to 55) and Saline Memorial Behavioral Health’s Geriatric Inpatient Psychiatric Program (for ages 55 years and older) provide acute hospitalization in a safe, therapeutic environment for patients who cannot be treated safely on an outpatient basis. Treatment is provided by a team of compassionate, licensed mental health professionals experienced in the assessment and treatment of adults with psychiatric issues. This team provides specialized services under the direction of two caring, dedicated attending psychiatrists.

Saline Memorial Behavioral Health’s inpatient programs are designed with a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and encompass a variety of therapies, including individual, group, family, recreational and psychopharmacology.

For more information, call 501-776-6600.

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