I was saddened to hear of the two recent celebrity suicides. I was sad for their families and also for them.
But I was also anxious. I knew that I would soon be receiving texts and emails full of questions about, “why?” I don’t know why these things happen. Each person’s story is unique. There may be certain risk factors and things that could be done to prevent suicide. But there is no simple formula to predict or prevent these types of things.
Many are also saddened to hear that suicide rates are climbing nationwide. In New York state, the suicide rate rose about 30 percent between 1999 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Things That Can Help
For me, I deal with all of this by focusing on what we can do to help people battling depression and suicidal thoughts. Some of the top ways include:
- Effective mental health treatment. Evidence-based-treatments – including cognitive behavioral therapy – could help. This therapy revolves around helping you handle mood fluctuations and stressful situations. Talk to your physician for more information.
- Connection to the world around you. This includes your connection to family, pets, caregivers, therapists, and church or spiritual communities. These connections provide you with a purpose, support, and something to live for. In dark times, it helps to wake up with a purpose and wake up to someone to love and/or to be loved by.
- Try to stay sober during sad times. Substances like drugs or alcohol can make you feel isolated or make obstacles appear insurmountable.
Remember: If you need to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also offers additional suicide prevention information:
- Suicide Prevention Facts and Resources
- TIP 50: Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment
- Suicide Prevention Wallet Card: Learn the Warning Signs
- Suicide Safe App
- A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt
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