Help Prevent the Tragedy of Suicide.
A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration reports a 49 percent increase in emergency department visits for drug related suicide attempts by women aged 50 and older. According to their latest data, visits went from 11,236 in 2005 to 16,757 in 2009. The increase reflects overall population growth.
“More than 30,000 people kill themselves every year, which is nearly double the number of homicides in America,” said Dr. Angela Gardner, MD, FACEP with the American College of Emergency Physicians. “Many believe — incorrectly — that suicide rates spike over the year-end holidays. IN fact, most suicides occur in the spring.”
Facts About Suicide:
- Four times as many men as women die by suicide.
- The highest death rate by suicide occurs in people aged 65 and older.
- Living in a rural area elevates the risk of suicide.
- Having a family member or friend commit suicide raised your risk of suicide.
- Depression, mental illness and substance abuse are the leading underlying causes of sucide.
Suicide Warning Signs:
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means.
- Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means.
- Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide.
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger, or seeking revenge.
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities.
- Feeling trapped — like there’s no way out.
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs.
- Withdrawing from friends, family and society
- Feeling anxious, agitated or unable to sleep, or sleeping all of the time.
- Experiencing dramatic mood changes, including sudden generosity with treasured possessions.
- If someone expresses a desire to kill himself, do not leave him alone and do not assume the problem will go away by itself. Even if someone attempts suicide and lives, there can be lasting damage to that person and his community. Attempting suicide also raises the risk of a future suicide attempt.
- “It’s critically important to take any threats of suicide seriously and to intervene immediately,” said Dr. Gardner. “Someone contemplating taking their own life needs expert attention right away, either at the emergency department or from a professional trained to treat people in suicidal crisis. You might be the person who saves a life by getting a friend or relative the help they need.”