Help us raise awareness about the impact of Suicide in Illinois and how we can all play a role in responding.
Friday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, Sunday September 5-11 is National Suicide Prevention Week and the entire month of September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Month. Please join us in our collective effort with other organizations and coalitions around the globe to raise awareness about the actions we can all take to prevent suicide.
In Illinois, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death claiming more than 1,000 deaths each year. For young adults ages 15 to 34, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in Illinois(IDPH).
Suicide is recognized as a chronic epidemic. Despite the overwhelming numbers, the tragedy of suicide is hidden by stigma, myth and shame. The stigma surrounding suicide often has an impact on prevention and intervention efforts. Additionally, many people have mistaken the notion that talking about suicide causes it to happen, but experts say that suicide is preventable.
Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks about their wellbeing in a caring way. Acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation. Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.
Asking someone if they are suicidal can be uncomfortable or nerve wrecking so try these tips for having the conversation!
Avoid asking in leading or judgmental ways, such as, “You’re not thinking of doing anything stupid, are you?”
Instead, ask the person directly about suicidal thoughts and intentions. “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Asking the person about suicidal thoughts will allow them the chance to talk about their problems and show them that somebody cares.
Use direct language. It’s important to use the direct language of “suicide” rather than “hurting yourself,” because these are two different questions.
This is a safe space. Tell the person at risk that you care and want to help. Ask them how they would like to be supported and if there is anything you can do to help.
Keep Them Safe
A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline.
Help Them Stay Connected
Helping someone at risk create a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help them take positive action and can reduce feelings of hopelessness.
Register to become a Certified Mental Health First Aider. Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental illness or emergency situation.
If you are feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach ComWell’s Daytime Emergency Response Team at (888) 310-6233 from 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday and the Nighttime Emergency Response Team at (888) 855-0034 any other time.
You can also Text “TALK” to 5-5-2-0-2-0 to receive a call from a ComWell counselor within 24 hours.