One of our CPIs visited a school recently and saw a 10-year old girl rocking back and forth and rubbing her temples hard. The CPI contacted the school nurse, who said she had been unable to reach the father. The CPI then tried calling the father herself and reached him.
She found out that the frustrated father had already taken his daughter many times to the doctor but received no diagnosis and had no more time to take off from work. The CPI offered to take the child to the hospital herself, which inspired the father to call his mother who took the girl to the hospital where she received an MRI. Because of the CPI’s adamant concern, the child was determined to be on the verge of a major stroke after having had multiple mini strokes. The child was later transported to a larger hospital for further treatment.
The CPI says it was simply her “mother instincts” that saved this girl’s life, but it is just this kind of instinct, motivation and big heartedness that makes such a big difference in the lives of those we are called to serve.
Today, September 10, is annual World Suicide Prevention Day. Health organizations around the world use this event as an opportunity to promote awareness of this preventable cause of death. In 2013, there were almost 3,000 suicides in Florida and almost 10,000 hospitalizations for non-fatal self-inflicted injuries. Why does this happen so often close to home?
Without notice, many of our loved ones suffer from and we may not know how to cope with them. If we educate each other about the warning signs, we can try to help save lives in the future.
Here are some frequent warning signs:
- Talking about hurting themselves.
- Looking for ways to harm themselves.
- Having an uncharacteristic focus on death, dying or violence. Talking or writing about death
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, or self-hatred.
- Self-destructive behaviors – such as increased substance use.
- Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or a loss purpose.
- Getting affairs in order – saying goodbye.
- Anxiety or sleeping problems.
Suicide prevention is crucial in every age group, but especially in adolescents. This is the third leading cause of death in young people aged 15-24. School interventions, bullying prevention, limiting access to lethal means, screening for behavioral health issues, teaching intervention skills and promoting positive coping skills are all efforts being implemented in Florida schools, doctors’ offices and community organizations.
Help is available. If you or your loved ones have concerns, visit or contact these resources: