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suicide-prevention-week-heldSuicide Prevention Week is Raising Awareness.

Suicide Prevention Week begins September 17, 2012 and is held to raise suicide awareness and educate people on preventing suicide. Many high school and college campuses have already participated in by writing the word “love” on their wrists and using social media to get the message out. The University of Connecticut is planning a week-long series of educational events for their students, titled “Be aware, Show You Care.” The campus will plant more than 1,000 flags along their lawn to show how many suicides occur yearly on college campuses. 

Suicide Prevention Week

Some of us know the pain of losing a friend or family member to suicide. Suicide Prevention Week is holding lectures and presentations educating the public on facts and statistics surrounding suicide, along with recognizing the warning signs. The goal of Suicide Prevention Week is to make friends or family members of such people reach out and be more aggressive in helping a person with suicidal thoughts.

Suicide Prevention Week Statistics

  • More than 36,000 people in the U.S. commit suicide each year.
  • For adults, ages18 to 65 years, suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and overall, the 10th leading cause of death in Americans.
  • Every 15 minutes someone commits suicide.
  • Three times as many women attempt suicide as men. However, for every successful female suicide there are four successful male suicides.
  • Ninety percent of people that commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder that could have been helped.
  • For every suicide, there is an estimated 8-25 attempts.
  • In our youth (15-24 years), suicide is the third-leading cause of death. And in our older population, suicide rates increase dramatically after age 65.
  • Women are more apt to commit suicide between the ages of 45 and 54 years of age.

Suicide and Depression Prevention

More than 60 percent of people who are successful with suicide have major depression. And if these depressed people are alcoholics, the percentage is hiked up to over 75 percent. Depression affects more than 24 million Americans and tops heart disease, cancer and AIDS.

Thirty percent of depressed people attempt suicide and half of them succeed. This is so sad because depression is treatable.  We can be happy again! Eighty to ninety percent of depressed people can improve and respond positively to the right treatment.

Suicide Danger Signs

  • Preoccupation or talking about death
  • Threatening to hurt him or her self
  • Insomnia and intense anxiety or panic attacks
  • Reckless behavior and involving themselves in risky situations
  • Self-destructive, violent attitude and behavior
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use

If you sense someone is thinking about suicide, don’t be afraid to ask. And do not try to argue with them about it. But, rather, tell the person that you care and that his/her feelings are temporary and that he/she can feel better. Help him/her seek help from a professional. And if you feel that there is a suicidal crisis, do not leave the person alone. 

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