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In honor of national suicide prevention week we want to highlight the fact that there are a number of different strategies that people can implement that are geared towards reducing or preventing suicide.  Suicide affects all the people who love and care for the individual taking their life. The effects are devastating to the point that it truly is a public health concern since this tragic act has shattered so many millions of people, entire families and communities across the country. It is important that we all do what we can to reduce the toll.

What We Should Know About Suicide

According to a 2012 report National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, more than double the numbers of people take their lives each year in the U.S., as are victims of homicides. Suicide comes in as #10 in terms of leading causes of death. Between the years of 2001 – 2009 more than 33,000 Americans committed suicide on average, which means that every 15 minutes someone ended their life by their own hand.

Adults who had thought seriously about suicide in the past year total more than 8 million, with 2.5 million saying they had actually made a suicide plan during the past year, with 1.1 million actually attempting suicide.

When it comes to minors, nearly 16% of ninth through twelfth grade students in the U.S. said they had seriously thought about suicide, with 7.8% saying they’d had at least one suicide attempt in the past year.

Part of national suicide prevention week involves educating one another that although anyone can be vulnerable to suicide, the following groups of people are known to be particularly at risk for experiencing suicidal behaviors:

  • Those suffering from mental disorders
  • People with substance use/abuse disorders
  • Individuals grieving the suicide death of someone close to them
  • People who participate in self-injury
  • Those who have already had at least one suicide attempt
  • Someone suffering with medical conditions
  • People living in child welfare or justice settings
  • Individuals in the LGBT community
  • Alaskan Natives and American Indians
  • Active military and veterans of the Armed Forces
  • Middle aged and/or older men

In Preventing Suicide We Must Know the Warning Signs

In light of national suicide prevention week, we can all help in preventing suicide by knowing the signs that signal a warning of suicidal behavior among those we are close to:

  • If someone is discussing their wish to die, feelings of being trapped, hopeless, or in excruciating pain.
  • If they are talking about not wanting to be a burden on their family or others, this could be a sign they are contemplating suicide.
  • If you notice that someone seems to be looking for ways to kill themselves.
  • They are drinking more and/or their use of drugs is on the rise.
  • Someone is behaving in an agitated, anxious or reckless manner.
  • You notice they are slipping way too much or even too little.
  • If they are feeling isolated and seem to be withdrawing, this is a sign.
  • When someone displays extreme mood swings, they may be vulnerable to suicide.
  • If someone is raging and/or contemplating revenge on someone, they are at higher risk.

Preventing Suicide

If you think someone you know is at risk of committing suicide here is what you can do:

  • Come out and ask them directly if they are contemplating killing themselves. In doing so you will not be giving them the idea or increase the likelihood that they would actually take their life.
  • Put them in the car with you and drive them to the emergency room or to their medical doctor or a mental health professional.
  • Take away and totally remove anything that might be useful in attempting suicide.
  • If at all possible, this person should not be left alone.

Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.

Previous research indicates that many adults with depression do not receive treatment for their symptoms. According to national surveys approximately half (49.5%) of adults with a lifetime history of major depressive disorder had never received treatment for depression and a similar percentage (48.4%) had not received any mental health care in the past year.  Only about one-third of young adults (18 to 25) with any mental disorder receives any type of mental health treatment. In Tennessee, about 3.7% of all adults will have serious thoughts of suicide.  In 2011, the latest year for which state-specific figures are available, Tennessee’s age-adjusted suicide rate was 14.6 per 100,000 people, translating into 938 reported suicide deaths. Furthermore, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment. Preventing suicide in Memphis, TN requires everyone’s help.

Effective treatment for depression is available.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender.

If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or suicide, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression can be highly successful and people who have completed our program have resulted in our treatment program receiving very highly consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.