September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day
Robin Peritz, Vice President for Behavioral Health Centers
Suicide Is Preventable!
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10-34 and the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Among LBGTQ+ individuals, the suicide rate is higher than that of the rest of the population. There is no single cause of suicide. We know that depression, anxiety, health issues and substance use are some common conditions that, when untreated, can lead to increased suicide risk.
What Can You Do to Help Prevent Suicide?
1) Reduce the stigma by talking about it. All too often, people are afraid to bring up the subject of suicide or say the words, “Are you feeling suicidal?” for fear that they will be wrong or cause someone to act on it. In fact, people need and want to talk about how they are feeling, and it often helps them to know that they are not alone.
2) Learn the warning signs and contributing factors. Here are a few to be aware of:
• Increased use of drugs or alcohol
• Isolating from family and friends
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing from daily activities
• Increased agitation or anger
• Trauma/abuse or neglect
• Increased depression, anxiety or other mental health symptoms
• Family history of suicide
• Relationship stress, loss or divorce
• Financial stress
• Loss of a job or home
3) Individuals who previously attempted suicide are at 30 to 40 times increased risk to die by suicide than someone without a history of suicide attempts.
4) Reach out when you think someone may be suicidal. Let them know that they are not alone and that you are there for them.
5) The most effective way to prevent suicide is to reduce access to guns.
6) All suicidal thoughts or actions should be taken seriously. Know your community resources. Seek help from a mental health professional.
Where Can You Get Help?
We all can play a role in preventing suicide. If you are thinking about suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, call or text the Dutchess County Helpline 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 845-485-9700 or the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255. Family of Woodstock has a 24-hour hotline at 845-338-2370 or 845-679-2485. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
Family Services can help meet your behavioral health needs. We have centers in Dutchess County in Beacon, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck. In Ulster County, you can receive services in Ellenville, Kingston and New Paltz. For appointments in Dutchess County, call 845-485-9700, and for appointments in Ulster County, call 845-486-2703 ext. 4016.