WHAT IS SUICIDE?
Suicide describes the voluntary and intentional takings of one’s own life.
Yearly, there are more than 37,000 suicides committed and hundreds of thousands of suicides attempted in the United States. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teens in Mississippi. For every attempt and suicide made, there are countless friends, family members, and loved ones who are affected.
Fact or Fiction?
Fiction: You can’t stop people who want to kill themselves.
Fact: SUICIDE IS 100% PREVENTABLE! Most suicidal people do not really want to die. They just want their pain to stop. You or your friend may be struggling with reasons to live and reasons to die. Talking about it means your friend can help you identify reasons for living.
Fiction: Talking to my friend about suicide will only make it worse.
Fact: Talking through feelings with your friends and trusted adults can help you realize the need for help. By showing concern and support, you can encourage your friend to talk to their parents or another trusted adult about getting help. Many times, people who are having thoughts of suicide are actually relieved that someone has recognized their warning signs and is concerned enough to ask if they are thinking about hurting themselves. Imagine what it would be like if no one recognized your warning signs – you would feel more alone and isolated. It’s important to talk to your friend if you see warning signs.
Fiction: Telling someone that my friend is talking about suicide is betraying their trust.
Fact: Depression and thoughts of suicide interferes with a person’s ability or wish to get help. It is an act of true friendship to share your concerns with a trusted adult.
Common Myths About Suicide
People who talk about suicide will not commit suicide.
All suicidal people want to die.
All suicidal people are mentally ill.
Suicide is inherited.
Once a person is suicidal, he or she is suicidal forever.
If you ask someone if he/she wants to commit suicide you might give them the idea; so avoid any such direct questioning.
Suicide occurs exclusively among the poor or the rich.
People who talk about suicide frequently do attempt and commit suicide
Most suicidal people are ambivalent about their death wish.
Asking people about suicidal intentions will not cause them to commit suicide.
Suicide rarely happens, without warning.
Once a person is suicidal, he or she is not necessary suicidal forever.
Suicidal is not inherited.
Not all suicidal people are crazy.
Suicide occurs in both the upper and lower socioeconomic classes.
The goal of suicide prevention at DREAM of Hattiesburg is to educate and provide the tools necessary to aid in the fight against suicide. Below are some resources specific to Mississippi.
Mississippi Department of Mental Health Hotline: 1-877-210-8513
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-TALK(8255)
DREAM of Hattiesburg Inc. : 601-545-2102
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teens in Mississippi. There are many resources available that can help lower that statistic. Suicide is 100% preventable! When someone comes to you, or if you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, tell someone. Shatter the silence! So what do you do when you’re approached by a friend that is struggling with suicidal thoughts?
A — Acknowledge that there is a problem and issue. Don’t ignore it.
C — Care for that person. Let him/her know that you are a friend and want to help.
T — Tell someone. This is often the hardest part, however; this person needs help. Tell someone immediately. A trusted adult, a member of the clergy, a teacher, a parent or anyone else you trust can help you. Tell them immediately.
Don’t ignore the issue.
Don’t keep it a secret.
Don’t leave until you have contacted help.
Don’t try to fix this alone.
Young people face many different stresses in life: loss, trauma, sickness, bullying, etc. Because of this, schools need a variety of resources to aid in the fight against youth suicide. All suicide is preventable—having the right tools and methods can save a young person’s life. There are many resources available to prepare school administrators for circumstances from preventing a suicide to mourning after a suicide in your school.
Lifeline Online Postvention Manual
Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
After Suicide Toolkit for Schools
Suicide prevention is a fight for everyone. Professionals are constantly working to find better resources for training and development in order to prevent suicide. Resources are available below for professional enhancement:
Here are some great materials for general suicide prevention.
Suicide prevention is a necessity for people of all walks of life. Suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth is an area of constantly expanding research. Many people struggle with their sexual orientation due to fears of “coming out,” being accepted or denied, conflicts with their religious background, etc.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center hosts a training workshop for assisting LGBTQ youth. More information can be found on the SPRC website.
Veterans possess many of the same suicidal risk factors as the general population. Undiagnosed mental disorders linked to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can add to the stress of re-entering regular civilian life. When there are multiple stressors present, the risk of suicide rises. So what should you look for when you’re concerned about your veteran?
SUICIDE RISK FACTORS AND BEHAVIORS IN VETERANS:
Drugs and alcohol
Unusual perceptions of reality
Talking about death
Lack of interest in general activites
Insomnia, panic attacks and anxiety attacks
Trouble with the law
Searching for suicide methods
Aggression and impulsive behavior
Intense and unstable mood swings
History of suicide attempts or suicide in the family
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Express your concern
Don’t leave him or her alone
Take him or her to a clinic, emergency room, or call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255)
Encourage him or her to seek professional assistance
Provide support during recovery
Help maintain social connections
Restrict access to weapons, narcotics, or any other possible tools for suicide.
VA – Mental Health
Coming Home Project
VA – PTSD
Returning Service Members
Make the Connection
Half of Us
Coalition for Veterans
Army Help Video
The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act was ratified and signed into law in 2004, and grantees have been funded by SAMHSA since 2005. Grantees are funded for three years to implement best practice suicide prevention programs among youth ages 10-24, and all grantees report into a nationwide cross-site evaluation for the GLS program. To learn more on cross-site evaluation findings for past grants, please visit:
Mississippi Youth Suicide Prevention Project
Mississippi’s Youth Suicide Prevention Project, will be utilized to support Mississippi in strengthening and implementing statewide youth suicide prevention strategies through collaboration with youth-serving institutions and agencies such as educational institutions, providers of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, providers of mental health programs, and community based coalitions reaching out to at-risk youth throughout our state. The population of focus will include youth, ages 15-24, throughout MS. The population of focus will also include community level gatekeepers throughout MS. Available, approachable, and accessible community level gatekeepers that blend public and private entities are key to motivating entire communities to take action to prevent youth suicide and promote good mental health. This project seeks to develop broad based support for youth suicide prevention from community level gatekeepers so that prepared community level gatekeepers are engaged in activities that are coordinated and address strategies outlined in Mississippi’s Youth Suicide Prevention Plan.
Additionally, Mississippi seeks to engage youth in planning and implementing youth suicide prevention strategies, particularly those activities that relate to social marketing and conducting information and awareness campaigns through the use of “new media”. Mississippi’s project will support SAMHSA’s goals that include: increase the number of persons in youth serving organizations that are trained to identify and refer youth at-risk for suicide; increase the number of health, mental health and substance abuse providers trained to assess, manage and treat youth at risk for suicide; increase the number of youth identified as at risk for suicide, increase the number of youth referred for behavioral health care services; increase the number of youth at risk for suicide who receive behavioral health care services; and increases the promotion of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Mississippi will maximize our ability to prevent, intervene, and respond to our youth suicide crisis; while striving to achieve the ultimate goal of reducing the incidents of youth suicide in our state.