By Brittany Andrews, CCSU Nursing Student | New Britain Health District at July 6, 2012 | 8:30 am | Print
The American public is becoming more aware that suicide is a big problem in society and is working to decrease the number of deaths related to suicide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 3000 people commit suicide per day. Also, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. There is no way to determine if a person is at risk of committing suicide based on age, gender, or ethnicity, however white men between the ages of 45 and 54 have the highest number of deaths related to suicide. While these statistics are specific to the United States and the world, suicide is a tragic occurrence in Connecticut as well. In 2007, USA Today ranked the states in number of suicides per 100,000 residents. The state of Connecticut ranked in the 11th spot. Communities need to work together to make others aware of suicide so that we may decrease the number of death caused by suicides.
There are certain risk factors that may increase a person’s risk of suicide. The most common risk factors are mental illness, alcoholism or drug abuse, previous suicide attempts, a family history of suicide, terminal illness or chronic pain, a stressful life event or recent loss, isolation and loneliness, or a history of trauma or abuse.
It is critically important that families and communities are able to recognize possible signs that someone is considering suicide. These signs include:
1. Thinking, talking, or wishing about suicide.
2. Substance use or abuse
5. Feeling as if there is no way out
7. Withdrawal from family, work, school, social activities, and hobbies
9. Mood disturbances
10. Looking for ways to die
It is important to take action if you see someone or know someone who is exhibiting one, some or all of these signs. If you feel that person is in immediate danger, Call 911 and wait for help to arrive. If the person is not in immediate danger, talking about the situation is an important way to help a person who is thinking about committing suicide. Allowing the person to speak of their feelings may prevent the suicide. It is also extremely important to assist the individual to seek further help.
Connecticut offers resources that are available to help those who are thinking about suicide. These resources include Suicide Hotlines; where trained counselors help to redirect a suicidal person’s thoughts and suicide support groups for those who survived an attempted suicide, lost a family member due to suicide, or for those who have had suicidal thoughts and need somewhere to go.
Here in New Britain, if you or someone you know needs to speak with someone about suicide, they can call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). If talking on the phone will not help, there are several clinics located nearby. The Wheeler Clinic, located in Plainville, specializes in behavioral health services. They can be reached at 1-888-973-3500. Also, Samaritans, located in West Hartford, has behavioral health services. They may be reached at 1-860-232-2121.
With this information, together we can help save someone’s life and prevent suicide.