CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — National Suicide Prevention Week is September 8 through September 14, 2013. During this time, Carolinas HealthCare System will continue to serve those who have had thoughts of suicide, offer assistance to loved ones who may have lost someone to suicide and educate the community at large about what needs to be done for anyone who may be at risk.
Even though people are talking about suicide more than ever before, and more access points for help are in existence, the numbers of death by suicide continue to be staggeringly high.
According to the American Association of Suicidology. someone commits suicide every 14 minutes. It is the leading cause of death for people between 15 and 24 years of age, and males are most susceptible, with suicide three to four times more likely in men of any age group as compared to women.
Alex Gnilka, PhD, manager of the Employee Assistance Program at Carolinas HealthCare System, shared pertinent lifesaving information when it comes to suicide. He says first and foremost; do not ignore someone you suspect may be suicidal or severely depressed.
“If someone is suicidal, discussing it will not cause them to go through with it. Most likely, the person will open up and be glad that you care,” Dr. Gnilka said. “Just be direct with them, and be willing to listen.”
Often people are afraid to discuss suicide because they are not sure what to do or how to help if someone is at risk. “If someone opens up to you and says they are suicidal or needs help, then call the suicide hotline, the Behavioral Health Call Center, or even 911 for assistance. Just this act alone can make a huge difference and is the best way for anyone to help,” Dr. Gnilka said.
Here are the phone numbers:
· National Suicide Prevention Hotline1-800-273-8255
· CMC Randolph Behavioral Health Call Center: 1-800-384-1097
How to Be Helpful to Someone Who Is Threatening Suicide
o Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
o Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
o Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
o Don’t dare him or her to do it.
o Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
o Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
o Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
o Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
o Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Be Aware of Feelings
Many people at some time in their lives think about suicide. Most decide to live because they eventually come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. On the other hand, people having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. These are some of the feelings and thoughts they experience:
o Can’t stop the pain
o Can’t think clearly
o Can’t make decisions
o Can’t see any way out
o Can’t sleep, eat or work
o Can’t get out of depression
o Can’t make the sadness go away
o Can’t see a future without pain
o Can’t see themselves as worthwhile
o Can’t get someone’s attention
o Can’t seem to get control
If you experience these feelings, get help, or if someone you know exhibits these symptoms, offer help!
For more information, visit http://www.behavioralhealthcenters.org/randolph.cfm?id=31.