Aspirus Health recognizes Suicide Awareness Month
Aspirus Health recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States with about one death by suicide occurring every 11 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, Aspirus Health aims to raise awareness about the often-stigmatized topic of suicide and educate people on how to help prevent it.
“Suicide is preventable, and it doesn’t require special training to help out a loved one in a meaningful way,” says Dr. Desire Christensen, psychiatrist with Aspirus Behavioral Health in Stevens Point. “Everyone can play a role by learning to recognize the warning signs, showing compassion, and offering support to someone who may be going through a difficult time.”
If someone is at risk for suicide, you can watch for warning signs, including:
•Talking about being a burden
• Increased anxiety • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Increased substance use
• Looking for a way to access lethal means
• Increased anger or rage
•Extreme mood swings
• Expressing hopelessness
•Sleeping too little or too much
•Talking or posting about wanting to die
•Making plans for suicide “If a person is struggling with suicidal ideation, involvement of a mental health professional is recommended to evaluate for underlying diagnoses that may be contributing to this risk,” says Dr. Christensen. “For example, ADHD is one of the most common mental health diagnoses in youth. Most people do not associate this diagnosis with suicidal thinking, but individuals with ADHD are 5 times more likely to consider suicide and 2 times as likely to attempt suicide. Treatment of ADHD has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of suicide.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with behavioral or mental health issues, Aspirus Health’s team of mental health specialists can help. Learn more at www.aspirus.org/behavioralhealth.
People in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know someone in crisis, can contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Call or text 988 or use the chat at 988lifeline.org. 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365.
For more immediate crisis intervention support for yourself or a loved one, call 911 and get to your closest Aspirus Hospital and Emergency Room.