During National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 5-11, Call for Help, Inc. reminds everyone that suicide is preventable. People should understand the warning signs of suicide and know what to do if they suspect they or a loved one is at risk.
“When suicidal behaviors are detected early, lives can be saved,” said Cheryl Compton, interim executive director of Call for Help, a nonprofit crisis services agency serving the Metro-East.
These are among the suicide warning signs noted by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about want to hurt or kill oneself
- Seeking access to firearms, available pills or other means
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
- Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped
- Increasing alcohol or substance abuse
- Withdrawing from friends, family and society
- Feeling anxious, agitated or unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time
- Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life
If a person suspects that someone is suicidal, assistance should be sought immediately from a hospital or health-care professional.
Call for Help operates a 24-hour crisis and suicide hotline, 618-397-0968, staffed by trained crisis workers with whom callers can discuss their situations. Call for Help also offers a Survivors of Suicide support group which helps individuals and families cope with the loss of a loved one to suicide.
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring every 15.2 minutes, according to the American Association of Suicidology.
A Proud Member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Call for Help provides support and relief to enable people to overcome such personal crises as homelessness, mental illness, personal distress and sexual assault. Programs include Suicide and Crisis Services, Sexual Assault Victims Care, Transitional Living Center for homeless young women, Clinical Services residential program for homeless mentally ill, and Emergency Assistance, Information and Referral. People needing assistance can call 618-397-0968, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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