If someone you know is thinking about suicide, this is a serious matter. It can be very hard to gauge the level of danger. Recognize some of the common warning signs of someone thinking about suicide:

  • Depression, feelings of hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts
  • Impulsiveness, extreme anxiety, agitation, irritability, or risky behavior
  • Withdrawal from others; giving away treasured belongings
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Abuse of alcohol, drugs, or other substances

In Tennessee, an estimated 850 men, women, and youth die by suicide each year—more than the number who die from homicide, drunk driving or AIDS.  From these figures, you know that the number of individuals who are thinking about suicide is far greater.  The rate of suicide in Tennessee is 14.4 per 100,000, higher than the national average of 10.8 per 100,000 individuals, which means  Tennessee’s suicide rate is the 13th highest in the nation. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth and young adults in Tennessee and throughout the nation. The figures for those who are thinking about suicide are even higher!

More suicides occur among the workforce than any other group and the majority of those who die by suicide have seen their primary health care provider in the month prior to their death. Overall, men are more likely to die by suicide than women. For example, from 1999-2010, the average suicide rate among U.S. males was 19.4 out of every 100,000, compared to 4.9 out of every 100,000 females.  More people than you would consider are thinking about suicide.

How you can help those who are thinking about suicide:

  • You can help the person by staying calm and telling them about mental health options in the area.
  • Often the hardest part of getting treatment is making the first call to a mental health provider. It is usually easier if the person who is thinking about suicide has help with this contact.
  • Please see the resources listed above for phone numbers you can call for help. While helping someone who is thinking about suicide can be hard, keep in mind that the help you give could save someone’s life.

Everyone feels down from time to time, but if you or someone you care about is thinking about suicide, seek professional help. Many people who are thinking about suicide also struggle with depression or with drinking or drug problems.

We have long known that depression can be fatal for too many untreated individuals, especially those who are thinking about suicide. In 90 percent of instances, suicide is the result of unrecognized, untreated, or poorly treated mental illness.  This means that for these 90% of people, there is hope to prevent those who are thinking about suicide if they get adequate treatment.  Unfortunately, most often thinking about suicide can be related to untreated depression.

Because our treatment center 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.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of the prevention of suicide in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who are thinking about suicide, 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.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of suicide, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in suicide prevention.  Suicide prevention, treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.