Suicide Awareness Month; What you need to know

September is Suicide Awareness month. Every 12 minutes, one person dies from suicide. It's actually the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages.

To fight against these statistics, Spectrum Health has implemented a consistent suicide risk measurement tool that applies to all patients 10 years and older across the hospital system. Dr. Kiran Taylor, chief for the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine with Spectrum Health Medical Group, explains how the program works, and what people need to know to help.

If someone you know is showing one or more of the following behaviors, he or she may be thinking about suicide. Don’t ignore these warning signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

If you or someone you know needs help, they should go to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital or their nearest Emergency Department.

Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255(TALK).

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