Monday, September 10, 2012

National Suicide Prevention Week, September 9-15

You Can Make a Difference During National Suicide Prevention Week, September 9-15

from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (

Many of you know that ending suicide and the suffering that accompanies suicide for all those affected is very important work to me.  Please take a moment to learn more about Suicide Prevention Week and how you can make a difference. I will post Contra Costa County specific information as well. Thank you for taking the time to learn more, end suffering and save lives.

More very soon,

National Suicide Prevention Week is taking place this week with activities all over the U.S. to bring vital awareness and attention to this national health problem. Since suicide is an issue all of us are deeply concerned about, you can be a part of the national movement to prevent suicide by:
Getting informed. Learn about suicide risk factors, warning signs and how to help someone who is in crisis. This information can help save lives.

Raising awareness. Spreading this knowledge will greatly help inform the public about suicide and the ways to prevent it. Let your friends and family know about these warning signs and suicide risk factors by sharing these links via your social media profiles. You can also post this image on your Facebook page to promote National Suicide Prevention Week.

Being involved. Join our Field Advocate Program and work with us to make suicide prevention a national priority by signing up to be an advocate in your community. Register for an Out of the Darkness Community Walk in one of 275 communities across the country. Volunteer with your local chapter -- click here to find one in your area.

Remember, help is always available and suicide can be prevented. Join us and be a part of this mission.

Keep the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number handy and call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you or someone you know is in crisis or feeling suicidal.Facts and Figure

The latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 36,909 suicide deaths were reported in the U.S. in 2009. This latest rise places suicide again as the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. Nationally, the suicide rate increased 2.4 percent over 2008 to equal approximately 12.0 suicides per 100,000 people. The rate of suicide has been increasing since 2000. This is the highest rate of suicide in fifteen years.
Suicide Rate over 16 Years
  • Every 14.2 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide.

  • Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year.

  • 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.

  • Most people with mental illness do not die by suicide.

  • Recent data puts yearly medical costs for suicide at nearly $100 million (2005).

  • Men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women. Women attempt suicide 3 times as often as men. Click here to view.

  • Suicide rates are highest for people between the ages of 40 and 59. Click here to view.

  • White individuals are most likely to die by suicide, followed by Native American peoples. Click here to view.
YearNumber of Suicide DeathsPopulationRate per 100,000

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control for the year 2009.
All rates are per 100,000 population.

Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give warnings. Prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and knowing how to respond to them.
Warning signs of suicide include:
  • Observable signs of serious depression:
    Unrelenting low mood
    Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension
    Sleep problems
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
  • Making a plan:
    Giving away prized possessions
    Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
    Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
  • Unexpected rage or anger
The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are often recognizable and treatable. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. Serious depression can be manifested in obvious sadness, but often it is rather expressed as a loss of pleasure or withdrawal from activities that had been enjoyable. One can help prevent suicide through early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.

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