September is Mental Health & Suicide Awareness Month
Do you know the suicide risk factors? Suicidal thoughts are often a result of untreated mental illness, especially depression. It is thought that most suicides result from a person’s belief that he or she is no longer effective, is a burden to others, or doesn’t belong. Common risk factors include a history of depression or other mood disorders, alcohol and other substance abuse, a sense of isolation, major physical illnesses, loss of a loved one, major life transitions, and feelings of hopelessness.
If you suspect someone might be at risk for suicide, do not take it lightly. Let the person know you are concerned about them and follow these steps to ACT:
Acknowledge: Actively listen and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings.
Care: Let the person know you care and discuss what is troubling them.
Treatment: Take action immediately to find professional help. Call 911 or take the person to the emergency room or medical caregiver. Find the duty officer or Chaplain. Never leave the person alone.
Knowing the warning signs of suicide and how to care for a person who is suicidal can be life-saving. Take the time to educate yourself and others about suicide. For more information on suicide risk factors and how to help, contact Military Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255. For more information visit http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/health-promotion/psychological-emotional-wellbeing/Pages/suicide-prevention.aspx