Skip to Main Content

Suicide Awareness Month

September 18, 2020 Uncategorized

September is Suicide Awareness Month. According to NCHS, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in adolescents 15 – 19 years old and the suicide rate among adolescents was 33% higher than in 2017 than in 1999. Now, with the isolation created by virtual school and social distancing in response to COVID-19, we need to be more aware than ever of the signs of suicide.

According to the Suicide Prevention Hotline, there are many ways to help a loved one you might suspect is thinking about suicide:

  • Take them seriously
  • Listen with empathy and provide support
  • Don’t keep suicide a secret
  • Know the warning signs:
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swing

Additionally, to take care of yourself:

  • Ask for help, the Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 800-273-8255
  • Make a safety plan
  • Remember that this feeling/thought can be overcome
  • Evaluate your relationships, avoid those that are negative

At New Hope, we understand that many of the youth we serve come to us with a history of trauma and/or depression. As a result, we do an initial suicide risk assessment on everyone adolescent who is admitted. This involves gathering history and conducting an interview with the resident and/or their legal guardian in order to make sure we understand where they are coming from so we can keep them safe.