Industry & TETAF News

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

In recent years, suicide prevention and mental health awareness have taken on a larger role in the Texas emergency healthcare community. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and TETAF encourages all stakeholders to utilize and share the various suicide prevention resources available through the national campaign, as well as the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Ten warning signs of suicide include:

  • Preoccupation with death and dying
  • Drastic changes in behavior or personality
  • A recent severe loss (such as a relationship) or threat of a loss
  • Unexpected preparations for death such as making out a will
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Unusual impulsiveness, recklessness, or risk-taking
  • Loss of interest in personal appearance
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Sense of hopelessness about the future

According to DSHS, more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. However, there are numerous risk factors to be aware of:

  • A family history of suicide.
  • Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can result in mental highs and lows that impact suicidal thoughts.
  • Intoxication. More than 1 in 3 people who died from suicide were under the influence of alcohol.
  • Easy access to firearms.
  • A serious or chronic medical illness.
  • Gender. More young women than young men attempt suicide, but young men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide.
  • A history of trauma or abuse.
  • Prolonged stress.
  • Isolation.
  • Age. People under the age of 24 are at a higher risk for suicide.
  • A recent tragedy or loss.
  • Agitation and sleep deprivation.

Resources

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone is in danger.
  • Call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255).
  • Text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor.
  • Visit Texas Suicide Prevention’s website for more information.
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