National Suicide Prevention Week
By: Lane Pease, Program Director
September 8th – 14th is National Suicide Prevention week. At Kate’s Club, we regularly work with families who have lost a family member to suicide. The families come with the normal feelings of grief, but also experiencing intense feelings of guilt, anger, and shame. Recently, my own community lost several young people to suicide in a very short time period. Having two teenage daughters who are experiencing the ups and downs of adolescence, I knew that I had to address the subject directly. I made a point of talking to my daughters about what had happened and how they felt. One of the biggest myths is that by talking or asking about suicide that we may somehow put the idea in a person’s mind. On the contrary, by talking about it we open a safe place for the person to share his or her feelings. If you have any reason to worry about someone, ask the person directly if he or she has thoughts of suicide. A willingness to ask questions in a non-judgmental and non-confrontational way allows the person to answer truthfully and seek out help if needed. A suicidal person should see a doctor or mental health provider immediately. If you believe, they are in immediate danger, call 911. You can also call the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you need further information or help with resources, such as ways to talk to children about suicide, you can also contact Kate’s Club. Below are some additional resources and a list of warning signs. Let’s stop the silence and shame and talk.
Suicide Warning Signs
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.