Health and Fitness

Know the Risk Factors for Suicide – There is Hope

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– People in crisis generally don’t have the energy or ability to take on a long search for help. The best way to prevent suicide with clinical depression is to know the risk factors for suicide and to recognize the warning signs of suicide. Take these signs seriously. Know how to respond to them. It could save someone’s life.

The Mayo Clinic website lists several risk factors.  Factors that put people at higher risk include:

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  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Having a psychiatric disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or personality disorders    
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • A family history of mental disorders or substance abuse
  • A family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Firearms in the home
  • A significant medical illness, such as cancer or chronic pain

Potential warning signs of suicide

While stressing that some people don’t reveal any suicidal feelings or actions, the Mayo Clinic website lists some typical warning signs:

  • Talking about suicide, including making such statements as "I’m going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead," or "I wish I hadn’t been born" 
  • Withdrawing from social contact and having an increased desire to be left alone
  • Wide mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day but deeply discouraged the next
  • Preoccupation with death and dying or violence
  • Changes in routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
  • Personality changes, such as becoming very outgoing after being shy
  • Risky or self-destructive behavior, such as drug use or unsafe driving
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again

Hopeline Network

Park Forest resident Joanna LaBelle, NCC LPC, who also serves as a guidance counselor at Marian Catholic High School, provided the following comments, “Suicide is a very permanent solution for what may feel like an overwhelming obstacle in your or someone else’s life.  Remember to take the feelings of hopelessness seriously.  There are people who will listen and help and really care.  If you are in need of help please call the hotline number or contact a counselor, teacher, clergy, doctor, parent, or friend. DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF. You do not have to be alone. Reach out immediately!”

LaBelle provided the number of the Hopeline Network, 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). When those looking for support dial 1.800.SUICIDE they are seamlessly connected to an available certified crisis center nearest to their calling location.

Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.com,

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