September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

and our goal at Benevolent Family Services is to educate the public about the warning signs of suicide and encourage individuals to address these warning signs with family and friends as well as colleagues. Sadly, suicide is the leading cause of death for ages 15 to 24 years old. Additionally, suicide rate has increased by 30% from 1999 to 2010 for ages 35 to 64. Interestingly, certain factors like substance abuse and untreated depression can lead to a higher risk of suicide.

The warning signs of suicide are indicators that an individual may be in acute danger and may need help such as:

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself

  • Withdrawing and isolating oneself

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose

  • Giving away belongings

  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

  • Displaying extreme mood swings

  • Sleeping too little or too much

There are also risk factors that make it more likely an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide:

  • Previous suicide attempt

  • History of trauma or abuse

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders.

  • Major physical or chronic illnesses

  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders

  • Family history of suicide

  • Recent job or relationship loss

  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation

Anyone could be struggling with suicide please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-263-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support.