Every year Frontier Health and other organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and around the world help raise awareness of Suicide Prevention during the entire month of September. September is officially known as National Suicide Prevention Month, with World Suicide Prevention Day recognized as September 10th. Additionally, National Suicide week is recognized as the Monday through Sunday surrounding Suicide Prevention Day.
Preventing suicide requires a broad effort that involves many different sectors of the community. Suicide is defined as a death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with the intent to die due to the behavior. The causes of suicide vary from individual to individual, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading causing of Death Reports, in 2019:
- Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,500 people.
- Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.
- There were nearly two and a half times as many suicides (47,511) in the United States as there were homicides (19,141).
Knowing the warning signs could save a life as suicide is preventable. Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if their behavior has changed, related to a painful event or loss. Warning signs include:
- Talking about wanting to die
- Searching online for a way to kill themselves, including searching for a place to buy a gun
- Talking about revenge or showing rage
- Talking about being a burden to other people
- Increasing use of alcohol and drugs
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Acting anxious, agitated, or behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Mood swings
- Isolating themselves
If you or a loved one are contemplating suicide, the National Suicide Hotline is available 24/7, 365 days a year at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). In addition, the Frontier Health Crisis Hotline is available 24/7, 365 days a year at 1-877-928-9062, and the Walk-in Center located in Turning Point at 208 E. Unaka Ave. in Johnson City is open 24/7, 365 days a year as well.
“Crisis services is grateful to have a month each year in which suicide prevention is highlighted. 130 Americans lose their life daily and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages. Our Crisis Team works to save the lives of those in our community experiencing suicidal thoughts 24hrs a day, 365 days a year. Preventing suicides takes both a personal touch and community effort. Be aware of the persons around you and know the warning signs of suicide. Educate others on the warning signs and safety measures to take if someone you know is at risk. If you know someone struggling, talk with the person and offer support. Encourage the person to seek help by calling the crisis line at 877-928-9062.” – Kristy Tipton, Division Director of Specialty Services, Frontier Health