CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans every year, and Robin Williams’ recent death is drawing attention to the importance of knowing the warning signs and how to prevent it. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Tim Hope shared more about what the warning signs are and how to prevent it.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25- to 34-year olds and the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year olds.
Suicide among 45- to 54-year-olds is a growing problem; the rate of suicide is higher in this age group than in any other.
Although older adults engage in suicide attempts less than those in other age groups, they have a higher rate of death by suicide. Over the age of 65, there is one estimated suicide for every 4 attempted suicides compared to 1 suicide for every 100-200 attempts among youth and young adults ages 15-24.
Major risk factors for suicide include:
Prior suicide attempt(s)
Access to lethal means
Major protective factors include:
Effective mental health care
Warning Signs for Suicide
Some behaviors may indicate that a person is at immediate risk for suicide. The following three should prompt you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or a mental health professional.
Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
Other behaviors may also indicate a serious risk-especially if the behavior is new; has increased; and/or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
Talking about being a burden to others
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
Sleeping too little or too much
Withdrawing or feeling isolated
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
Displaying extreme mood swings
In an Emergency, Contact:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic
Hospital emergency room
Urgent care center/clinic