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:
- Local treatment: http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/substance-abuse/get-help
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition: http://floridasuicideprevention.org
- Additional resources: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/suicide-prevention/links.html