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Suicide Prevention Starts With Knowing How to Spot Warning Signs and How to Help

Suicide is the 11th Most Common Cause of Death in the Nation
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Editor?s Note: This is the second in a series of press releases from the Campaign for Community Wellness for May as Mental Health Awareness Month ? next topic is depression, then stigma. (www.campaignforcommunitywellness.org) This information is from the Placer County System of Care (Placer County, Calif.) ? May 9, 2012 ? If you know someone who has committed suicide, or you?ve contemplated suicide, you?re not alone. In the US, suicide is the 11th most common cause of death. For youth, the statistics are more grim. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students and the third leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24 years old. As part of mental health awareness month, Placer County?s Campaign for Community Wellness is working to educate people about suicide warnings signs, risk factors and where to go for help. Major suicide warning signs include talking about harming or killing oneself; talking or writing about death and dying and seeking items that could be used in a suicide attempt (i.e. guns and drugs). Feeling hopeless is a more subtle warning sign, though it is equally as dangerous. People who are acting hopeless say they have nothing to look forward to; they may talk about unbearable feelings. They simply feel and share with others that they have nothing to look forward to. ?A suicide attempt does not have to haunt you for the rest of your life. If prevented and addressed, a person can lead a happy and fulfilling life after a suicide attempt. When I was young, my sister attempted suicide. She was told she would have to be on medication for the rest of her life. Now she has finished school for medical assisting and is thriving!? ? Anonymous. ?My mom had been acting really depressed and stated multiple times that there was no purpose for her. One Saturday when I was at work alone, my mom texted me that she wished me a wonderful life and that she loved me. She then texted me good-bye. I immediately called 911. My mom was angry towards me for a while because I called 911. She was thoroughly assessed by professionals and is doing okay. If the same thing happened again, I would do the same thing I did. Knowing the warning signs was critical in saving her life,? ? Anonymous. Other warning signs to look for in someone to see if he/she might be suicidal include dramatic mood swings or sudden personality changes. A suicidal person may also lose interest in day-to-day activities, neglect his or her appearance, and show big changes in eating or sleeping habits. All these warning signs are even more dangerous if a person has a mood disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, suffers from alcohol dependence, has previously attempted suicide or has a family history of suicide. Local resources that provide general assistance for suicide risk can be found at the Placer County Network of Care website at www.placer.networkofcare.org. For a national resource that offers advice, information and a crisis hotline visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. If you or someone you know is in crisis or considering suicide, you can call these hotlines: Sacramento 916.368.3111 Auburn 530.885.2300 Roseville 916.733.3111 Lincoln 916.645.8866 Youth 800.843.5200 Veterans 800.273.8255 Most of these suicide prevention and crisis services offer community outreach, education, and awareness presentations to the region upon request. ?Suicide can affect anyone ? youth, older adults, gays and lesbians, people of all ethnicities, and veterans,? said John Buck, CEO of Turning Point Community Programs, including the Roseville Center. ?Sadly, on any given day in the U.S., 18 veterans take their own lives, according to the Veterans Administration. It is so important it is for people to know that resources are there to support them.? ?If you or someone you know is showing suicidal warning signs, know there is help. Seek it right away,? added Buck, ?Suicide is the eleventh most common cause of death in the nation. Working together, we can change that number.? ### Turning Point Coloma Center is located at 120 Ascot Center, Suite D, Roseville, CA. For more information call 916.786.3750; Placer County Access, call 916.787.8860 or visit www.tpcp.org/coloma-center. About the Campaign for Community Wellness Founded in 2005, the Campaign for Community Wellness (CCW) is a group of citizens who are concerned about and desire to improve the services for people affected by mental illness throughout Placer County. For more information, please visit www.campaignforcommunitywellness.org