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Many take their own lives in last two weeks

 


Healthcare professionals at the local hospital were alarmed last week at a big spike in people who had died by suicide.

In the space of as many days, seven people took their own lives and one also took the life of another, hospital officials said.

Suicide often happens in conjunction with taking alcohol or drugs, which can lead to deeper depression at the same time decision-making capabilities are impaired.

If you are someone who is thinking about it, there is help available, if even just by phone through a hotline or by merely calling 911. If you don’t want to talk to someone, but texting would be OK, that’s possible too.

Below are the contacts from the Washington State Suicide Prevention Plan and also signs to watch for in others.

Are you having suicidal thoughts?

Suicidal thoughts by themselves aren’t dangerous, but how you respond to them can make all the difference. Support is available.

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-273-8255. Press 1 for the Veterans Helpline. If you’re under 21, you can ask to talk to a peer at Teen Link.

Don’t feel like talking on the phone? Try Lifeline Crisis Chat (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/lifelinechat.aspx) or the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

If you might be at risk of suicide again, download the My3 App from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can use the app to list your crisis contacts, make a safety plan and use emergency resources. For more information: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/my3-app.aspx

Are you concerned someone else might be at risk of suicide?

This person is fortunate you’re paying attention. Here are five easy steps you can take to help:

1. Look for warning signs.

2. Show you care. This looks different depending on who you are and your relationship, but let the person know you have noticed something has changed and it matters to you. If appropriate, let them tell you how they’re feeling and why.

3. Ask the question. Make sure you both understand whether this problem is about suicide. “Are you thinking about suicide?”

4. Restrict access to lethal means. Help the person remove dangerous objects and substances from the places they live and spend time.

5. Get help. This person may know who they want to talk to (a therapist, their guardian, their partner). You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-273-8255.

Don’t feel like talking on the phone? Try Lifeline Crisis Chat (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/lifelinechat.aspx) or the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Warning signs: How can we tell someone might be at risk?

About 80 percent of people who attempt suicide show some warning signs first. Knowing and recognizing these signs can help family and friends support a loved one before suicidal thinking turns into action. Warning signs can be acute and urgent or simply red flags for concern.

The American Association of Suicidology recommends emergency mental healthcare for someone showing these warning signs:

Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide, especially if this is unusual or related to a personal crisis or loss

Seeking ways to kill themselves (for example, collecting pills or making plans to purchase a weapon during a crisis)

Directly or indirectly threatening suicide:

– Direct threats like “I am going to kill myself.”

– Indirect threats like “I can’t do this anymore,” “No one would miss me if I were gone,” or “You have meant a lot to me, please don’t forget me.”

Warning signs that mean we need more information about a person’s suicide risk include:

• Hopelessness

• Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking

• Withdrawing from friends, family or society

• Dramatic mood changes

• No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life

• Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge

• Feeling trapped — as if there’s no way out

• Increasing alcohol or drug use

• Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time

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