Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Suicide Prevention

This is suicide prevention week. Every hour someone dies from suicide while 10 others attempt it. Every year families must deal with the questions left when a child or a family member takes their own life. Who is there for them? Where are the pink ribbons and PSA's telling people to call a toll free number for help? The recent death in the celebrated series the Real Housewives has drawn the media's attention to suicide, but  the moment is gone in a flash as another sexy headline takes it's place. The truth is, kids ll over the world are killing themselves everyday. Adults are making the decision to end it all in record numbers. No one talks about them. There are no find raisers to help educate people om the warning signs for suicide. There are no big granters that are willing to fund PSA'a during prime time for suicide prevention. We spend millions of dollars in hopes of a cure in the future for many diseases, but nothing for one of the most preventable types of death there is. There is a website called Half of Us, that uses technology, and celebrity to spread the message that mental health is important and any mental health issue can be treated. The key they promote is to talk to someone. Share  with someone. The kids find out they are not all alone in this. There are millions of people all over the place that may be experiencing depression, fear, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, and a host of other things. Through Half of Us, they can connect with people across the globe or across campus. MTV is involved in getting the message to college aged kids. The Jason foundation exists to get the info to schools all across the nation in hopes teachers can recognize thew signs and get help for the student before it is too late.
 So who is at risk? Anyone who has experienced a loss, anyone who has mental illness in their family, anyone who feels they don't belong. Men are more 3 times more  likely to  die by suicide  than women but women are 4 more likely to report attempts. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are at risk as are people who have previous attempts at suicide. People with chronic serious illnesses are more likely to die by suicide.
 There are many more risk factors for suicide which can be found in the links below. There are also resources listed as well. This is National Suicide Prevention week. Please take the time to learn the risk factors and warning signs, know your local resources and how to access them and don't be afraid to ask the question.. "are you thinking of killing yourself?" You may be the person that saves a life.
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