National Suicide Prevention Week occurs each year in September and includes World Suicide Prevention Day. During the week, people take action to help reduce the number of suicides in their communities. Sadly, suicide is a more widespread problem than many people think. From recent data on suicide, approximately 48,000 Americans die from suicide each year, and around 1.4 million Americans attempt suicide annually. These numbers are startling, and the number of people that suicide affects each year is even larger. For each person who dies by suicide, a family finds themselves devasted.
In support of National Suicide Prevention Week, this article covers how a person can participate in the week and do their part to help prevent suicide. Additionally, we cover warning signs that can help people identify individuals who may be at risk of suicide. We also share several mental health treatment programs, which can help at-risk individuals manage their mental health and improve their lives.
Ways that anyone can get involved in National Suicide Prevention Week
You do not have to be a mental health professional to get involved in National Suicide Prevention Week. Anyone who cares about helping prevent suicide can participate, even while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Many people participate by taking part in one of National Suicide Prevention Week’s many social media campaigns. To get involved, you can share social media content on suicide prevention from organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness. When your friends and followers view the content, they will become more aware of suicide and the need for people to help prevent suicide.
You can also participate by engaging with friends, family, and people in your social circle who may be at risk of suicide. If someone may be at risk, you can follow the #BeThe1To campaign’s five actions. In order, the campaign’s five actions are: (1) ask, (2) be there, (3) keep them safe, (4) help them connect, and (5) follow up. Having a conversation and engaging with a person who may be at risk can help prevent suicide, as it may provide the support and care that the person needs to see hope for their future.
Identifying who may be at risk of suicide and needs help
There are several common warning signs that people who are at risk of suicide might exhibit. By identifying those warning signs, a person can identify who they may be able to help. Typical warning signs of suicide include:
- The person shows signs of mental health conditions, including mood swings, changes to eating and sleeping schedules, and increased irritability. Mental health conditions, including depression, can lead to a person feeling overwhelmed and isolated.
- The person repeatedly talks about death or states that they would rather be dead. Even when made in a joking manner, such statements can be an at-risk person’s way of asking for help.
- The person puts their life in danger and seems to have a general disregard for their well-being. The person may engage in substance abuse, unsafe sex, and reckless driving, and this change in behavior may come on suddenly.
While the above list of warning signs can help a person identify at-risk individuals, the list is not comprehensive. Some people may express their difficulties in unique ways, and others may not show any visible warning signs. Accordingly, it is crucial to be mindful of your mental health and the mental health of those around you. Suicide and mental health conditions that may lead to suicide can affect anyone - even those we least expect.
If you or an at-risk person has suicidal thoughts or needs to talk to a trained professional, call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at +1 (800) 273-8255. On the call, a trained professional will listen to the person’s needs and share the best next steps on how to stay safe and improve well-being.
How Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital can help
When a person does not receive treatment for a mental health condition, the condition often worsens. Eventually, the person is unable to manage their mental health and is desperate to change their situation. Sometimes, the person incorrectly considers suicide as the only solution for their needs.
Mental health and suicide prevention go hand in hand. At Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we provide several mental health treatment programs that can help at-risk people get in control of their mental health condition. With the right treatment, recovering from a mental health condition is possible. Our programs for adults include inpatient psychiatric treatment and inpatient treatment for chemical dependency. For adults who do not require 24-hour attention, we offer partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs. We also provide specialized mental health treatment programs for adolescents.
Getting started at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
The first step towards getting the mental health treatment that you or a loved one may need is to contact our caring team. You can reach a member of our team 24/7 at (877) 489-4707. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have and help you determine if our behavioral healthcare hospital in Houston is the best place for your needs.