Suicide Prevention Week
National Suicide Prevention Week – September 5 – 11, 2016
According to Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide (CHADS) Coalition, more children die from suicide in the 15-19 age group than from the top 6 medical causes of death combined. Furthermore, for every completed suicide in the 15-24 age group, about 900 attempts are made.
A major risk factor for suicide is having a mental disorder. Studies have shown that an overwhelming majority of people who die by suicide—90% or more—had a mental disorder at the time of their deaths. Half of all lifelong mental illnesses begin before age 14, and unfortunately 80% of all youth with mental illnesses are not identified and do not receive any mental health services. Other risk factors include previous suicide attempts, a family history of attempted or completed suicide, serious medical conditions or pain, highly stressful life events, and exposure to another person’s suicide.
When someone makes a comment about feeling suicidal in any way, take it seriously. If they have a plan, take them to a mental health professional, doctor, or hospital emergency room. Call 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), or Behavioral Health Response (1-800-811-4760). Do not leave them by themselves and make sure that a safety plan is created. Much more information can be found at the CHADS Coalitions at www.chadscoalition.org and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at www.afsp.org.