September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Did you know that suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and that Oklahoma is ranked 8th in the nation by the number of deaths by suicide (higher than the national average). Suicide has no single cause and there are many risk factors.
Suicide is when people directs violence at themselves with the intent to end their lives and die as a result of their actions. Some attempts do not end in death but that doesn’t mean that there is not injury. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 15-24 years.
There are many warning signs of suicide.
What can you do if you know someone who is considering suicide, you can be the one to (#BeThe1To) :
- Ask – Don’t be afraid to ask the tough question. When somebody you know is in emotional pain, ask them directly: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
- Be There – If your friend is thinking about suicide, listen to their reasons for feeling hopeless and in pain. Listen without judgment and with compassion and empathy.
- Follow Up – Making contact with a friend in the days and weeks after a crisis can make a difference in keeping them alive. Check in with the person you care about on a regular basis.
- Help Them Connect – Help your friend connect to a support system so they have others to reach out to for help: whether it’s 800-273-TALK (8255), family, friends, clergy, coaches, co-workers, or therapists.
- Keep Them Safe – If your friend is thinking about suicide, ask if they’ve also thought about how they would do it. Separate them from anything they are thinking of using to hurt themselves.
The library has compiled a list of resources available if you or someone you know needs more information.