National Suicide Prevention Week: What you can do to prevent suicide

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This week marks National Suicide Prevention Week, a chance to add your voice to the conversation, spread awareness, protect your own mental health and potentially save lives.

Talking about suicide, and about mental health more broadly, can make all the differences.

Nearly 9 percent of youth in grades nine through 12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months, according to the AFSP, based on the 2015 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey.

Suicide is linked, but not limited to, mental disorders, particularly depression and alcohol use disorders.

Certain events and circumstances may increase risk for suicide, such as having a psychiatric illness including, but not limited to, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.

What should family and friends look for?

Significant changes in behavior are major warning signs that a person, especially one with depression, may be slipping into suicide.

If someone with depression is acting out of character, it is time to ask more questions, get others involved and take action; Other changes in behavior that may be red flags are withdrawal from family, friends, work and social activities, a change in activity level, increased anxiety, which can be restlessness or agitation, and a lack of sleep. “Look and listen for warning signs because it is not as if just one morning someone wakes up and says, ‘Today is the day I’m going to do this,'” Reidenberg .

If you have a friend  and family who are in need for prevention Please call 1-800-273-8255.