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BipolarLife 101 provides online mental health support along with online tools such as mental health articles, blogs and more to help those battling mental health issues. BipolarLife101 helps people learn to live life with a mental illness, strives to help end stigma, and assist the community, friends and family gain a better understanding of mental health issues.bq-o-rtl.png

Suicide PreventionMental Illness Support

Suicide is a major public health concern. 44,965 (2016 - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) people die by suicide each year in the United States. More than twice as many people die by suicide each year than by homicide. Suicide is tragic. But it is often preventable. Knowing the risk factors for suicide and who is at risk can help reduce the suicide rate across the country and in your community.

Who is at risk for suicide?

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk for suicide. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are: Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder A prior suicide attempt Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse Family history of suicide Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse Having guns or other firearms in the home Incarceration, being in prison or jail Being exposed to others' suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or media figures. The risk for suicidal behavior is complex. Research suggests that people who attempt suicide differ from others in many aspects of how they think, react to events, and make decisions. There are differences in aspects of memory, attention, planning, and emotion, for example. These differences often occur along with disorders like depression, substance use, anxiety, and psychosis. Sometimes suicidal behavior is triggered by events such as personal loss or violence. In order to be able to detect those at risk and prevent suicide, it is crucial that we understand the role of both long-term factors—such as experiences in childhood—and more immediate factors like mental health and recent life events. Researchers are also looking at how genes can either increase risk or make someone more resilient to loss and hardships. Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. Suicide is not a normal response to stress. It is however, a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention.

What about gender?

Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. Men are more likely to use deadlier methods, such as firearms or suffocation. Women are more likely than men to attempt suicide by poisoning.

What about children?

Children and young people are at risk for suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 34.

What about older adults?

Older adults are at risk for suicide, too. While older adults were the demographic group with the highest suicide rates for decades, suicide rates for middle aged adults have increased to comparable levels (ages 24-62). Among those age 65+, white males comprise over 80% of all late life suicides.

What about different racial/ethnic groups?

Among racial and ethnic groups, American Indians and Alaska Natives tend to have the highest rate of suicides, followed by non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanics tend to have the lowest rate of suicides, while African Americans tend to have the second lowest rate.

How can suicide be prevented?

Effective suicide prevention is based on sound research. Programs that work take into account people's risk factors and promote interventions that are appropriate to specific groups of people. For example, research has shown that mental and substance abuse disorders are risk factors for suicide. Therefore, many programs focus on treating these disorders in addition to addressing suicide risk specifically. Psychotherapy, or "talk therapy," can effectively reduce suicide risk. One type is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can help people learn new ways of dealing with stressful experiences by training them to consider alternative actions when thoughts of suicide arise. Another type of psychotherapy called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has been shown to reduce the rate of suicide among people with borderline personality disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by unstable moods, relationships, self-image, and behavior. A therapist trained in DBT helps a person recognize when his or her feelings or actions are disruptive or unhealthy, and teaches the skills needed to deal better with upsetting situations. Medications may also help; promising medications and psychosocial treatments for suicidal people are being tested. Still other research has found that many older adults and women who die by suicide saw their primary care providers in the year before death. Training doctors to recognize signs that a person may be considering suicide may help prevent even more suicides.

Warning Signs of Suicide

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change. Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself. Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun. 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. Withdrawn or feeling isolated. Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge. Displaying extreme mood swings. Additional Warning Signs of Suicide Preoccupation with death. Suddenly happier, calmer. Loss of interest in things one cares about. Visiting or calling people to say goodbye. Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order. Giving things away, such as prized possessions. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Mental Health Hotlines and Resources

National Institute of Mental Health (2015). Suicide Prevention. Retrieved May18, 2015,

from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. List of Suicides. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicides

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KEEP IN MIND: Although military members comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, veterans represent 20 percent of suicides nationally. Each day, about 22 veterans die from suicide.

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Mental Health Stats

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.
  • More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
  • Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.
  • Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year.
  • Just over half (50.6%) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.

LEARN MORE

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24 hrs a day

Suicide Prevention | Dealing with Suicidal Thoughts | Depression | Mental Illness | Suicide Awareness | Suicice in the Military | PTSD | How Can Suicide be Prevented
Who is at Risk for Suicide | Mental Illness Suicide Prevention | Warning Signs of Suicide | Teenage Suicide

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