Some Facts About Suicide and What You Can Do
By Leslie Faulkner (LPCA) and Miranda Farthing (LPCA)
As of June 2018, suicide has been the 10 th leading cause of death in the US, and its
rate continues to increase each year. It is so important that we all learn the risk
factors and warning signs for suicide in order to spread awareness and prevention.
Previous suicide attempts, a history of suicide in the family, substance misuse,
mood disorders, tragic losses, history of trauma, and access to lethal means are just
some examples of events that may increase the risk for suicide. The CDC has
reported that relationship problems are among the top risk factors for suicide,
followed by crisis or substance use. Warning signs of suicide may include reckless
behavior, drastic changes in mood, increased substance abuse, social withdrawal,
and often talking about death.
As a Licensed Professional Counseling Associate, it is imperative that I help a
suicidal client identify their protective factors, or the client’s reasons for living.
Common protective factors may include effective mental health treatment, strong
social support, fear of death, and follow-up calls from providers. If you have a
loved one who you feel is struggling with suicidal thoughts, always make sure to
keep them safe and help them feel as connected as possible. Provide them the
ongoing support, assess their home for lethal means to keep them safe, refer them
for treatment, and, most importantly, listen to their needs.
Recently, the FCC has approved a plan to initiate a 3-Digit Suicide Prevention
Number (988). If you or someone you love is struggling, keep in mind the risk
factors and warning signs for suicide, and know that there is always help available.
Reach out to your closest relatives, friends, or seek professional help from a mental
health counselor or therapist. You are invited to follow this suicide prevention and
awareness 3 week series. Within this series we will address teen suicide; stats and
prevention, what you can do if you are a parent/friend/third party of someone who
is talking about suicide, and self-care; mental health first aid and what you can do
to prevent mental illness and increase resilience in your own life.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Available 24/7): 1-800-273-8255