Suicide: Know the Signs, Symptoms and Steps to Take for Prevention
Suicide rates are up in almost every state, including North Carolina. Jenny Edminson, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, spreads awareness about suicide, discussing signs, symptoms and what to do if you’re concerned about a loved one.
Behavioral changes can be a sign that someone might be at risk for suicide. Behavioral changes might include:
- Giving items that are important to them or projects they are passionate about away to others.
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves from others.
- Saying things like "I wish I wasn't here anymore," "I wish I didn't wake up this morning" or "no one would care if I was gone."
Suicidal thoughts are not healthy, and it's important to take them seriously. Anytime a loved one shares a suicidal thought, the first thing to do is to believe them. Show them that you care for them and are there to help. Ask them directly, "Are you having suicidal thoughts?" If they answer yes, ask them these follow-up questions:
- "Have you thought about a plan?"
- "Have you thought about what you might do?"
- "Have you thought about how you would do it?"
- "Have you been collecting things?"
- "Have you thought about when you would do it?"
If your loved one says yes to any of these questions, they need immediate intervention. Stay with them and drive them to the emergency room, or call a suicide helpline with them. It's extremely important to not leave them alone, but that you stay with them while they receive care.
If you're having suicidal thoughts, you're not alone. There are many support services that are here to support you:
- National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
- Cone Health 24-hour HelpLine: 336-832-9700 or 800-711-2635