Suicide

Over 42,000 people die by suicide in the US, and over 1,000,000 people attempt suicide each year in the US – it is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-34, and the tenth leading cause of death overall. Yet the only one that is completely preventable.

For each attempted or completed suicide, an average of six people are directly affected. Suicide is often termed a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Get help now – call 1-800-TALK

Preventing Suicide in WV

Potential reasons people attempt or complete suicide include:

  • Severe depression
  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • Feelings of intense loss and grief caused by the death of a loved one or the breakup of a relationship  
  • Sever family, work and/or school, financial, legal, or social problems
  • Severe chronic stress
  • Alcohol and other substance abuse issues
  • Victim of domestic violence
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty dealing with life changes
  • Serious illness
  • Loss of hope
  • Intense embarrassment or humiliation before family, friends, and peers
  • Overwhelming feelings of guilt

The more of these reasons are present, the greater the danger to a person’s life. DO NOT LEAVE A PESRSON THAT MIGHT BE SUICIDAL ALONE!

People who are suicidal often share their thoughts with those around them – sometime in direct ways, sometime in more subtle ways.  Direct expressions include statements such as:

  •  “I’m going to kill myself”
  •  “There is no reason to stay alive anymore”, and similar. 

The expressions can be quite ambiguous, such as:

  •  “I’m done”
  • “I can’t take it anymore”, and similar. 

Some more subtle hints include:

  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Putting affairs “in order”
  • Sudden interest or disinterest in religion
  • Sudden and unexplained phase of optimism after a long period of depression
  • Saying goodbye

Every indication that a person might be thinking of suicide should be taken serious – even if the person has talked about it quite frequently, but never followed through.

Here some ways to help someone who is thinking about suicide:

  • If you are concerned, speak up – tell the person you are worried about them
  • Ask the person in a non-judgmental way if they are thinking of suicide
  • Keep in mind that suicide is only the symptom of an underlying problem (or problems) that seem unresolvable.
  • Take time to listen without trying to fix or put down the situation that has led the person to this point.  Be there with the person, as uncomfortable as this feels – the vast majority of people who are suicidal have spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out another solution.
  • Express your genuine wish for the person to remain alive (most people are only suicidal for a short period of time and may never feel that way again if they receive help)
  • Instill a sense of hope that, even though you don’t the solution, you are certain that there are other alternatives to death.
  • Enlist the help of others – call a parent, sibling, friend, professor, or clergy – anyone who can help you keep the person alive until they can get professional help.
  • Connect or take the person to someone equipped to deal with the situation - a mental health professional, a medical doctor, or nearest emergency room.   
  • If you cannot get the person to agree to get help and/or you feel that more help is needed, don’t hesitate to call 911 for help. 

Find more information about how to ask the questions and get help.

Read What not to say to someone who is suicidal.   

You are encouraged to take advantage of free online training designed for educators offered by the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.

You can request QPR Suicide Prevention Skills training for your group or organization - the training requires a minimum of 75 minutes and no more than 35 participants.

Please visit our LibGuides for additional Suicide prevention information and resources.

 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis, please contact our office at (304) 333-3661, campus security at (304) 367-4357, or dial 911 for immediate help.