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September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Too many lives are lost to suicide every day, and the repercussions are far-reaching. Those left behind are traumatized, shocked, devastated.
Suicide results from a complicated array of risk factors. Since suicide is often preceded by one or more attempts, the risk is heightened for the entire first year after an attempt — especially the first six months after a hospitalization.
Intervention is critical, yet many people with suicidal thoughts don’t get professional help. How can you help someone in crisis?
Most people who attempt or complete suicide make their intentions known ahead of time by either talking about it or giving other clues. Pay attention and take warning signs of suicide seriously. Once warning signs are identified, action should be taken immediately.
With professional help, many individuals can recover and may never be suicidal again. An evidence-based treatment plan may include hospitalization/inpatient care, outpatient care, medication, and individual and family therapy. At-risk individuals can learn coping skills, what to do when thoughts of suicide arise, and how to re-connect with reasons for living.
Alongside professional help, below are some ways to help a loved one:
Suicide is everyone’s concern. We can all work together to help prevent it.
NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health is committed to taking steps to prevent suicide and raise awareness for mental health.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, 24/7 help is available: