Your help is needed in the prevention of youth suicide in Connecticut. Your organization or school can take advantage of this opportunity to bring services and suicide prevention programs to the attention of the community. With your involvement, activities throughout the year will help sharpen the public's awareness of facts, risk factors, resources, and prevention strategies.
10 SYMPTOMS OF CLINICAL DEPRESSION
A persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood
Sleeping too little or sleeping too much
Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Restlessness or irritability
Persistent physical symptoms that don't respond to treatment (such as headaches, chronic pain, or constipation and other digestive disorders)
Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
Thoughts of death or suicide
For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death, behind unintentional injury and homicide. Every two hours and five minutes, a person under the age of 25 completes suicide.
Suicide Risk Factors Stressful events, situations and/or conditions that are associated with greater potential for suicide and suicidal behavior. These include:
Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders
Alcohol and other substance use disorders
Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
History of trauma or abuse
Some major physical illness
Previous suicide attempt
Family history of suicide
Job or financial loss
Easy access to lethal means
Local clusters of suicide that have a contagious influence
Lack of social support and sense of isolation
Stigma associated with help-seeking behavior
Barriers to accessing health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
Certain cultural and religious beliefs (ie., the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal drama)
Exposure to, including through the media, and influence of others who have died by suicide
Suicide Protective Factors Measures that enhance resilience or protective factors are as essential as risk reduction in reducing and preventing suicide. Interventions and strategies that support and maintain protection against suicide should be available as long as they are needed.
Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance abuse disorders
Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help-seeking
Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
Strong connections to family and community support
Support through ongoing medical and mental health relationships
Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation
Resources That Can Help
211 Infoline (Suicide/crisis, information and referral line)
Employee Assistance Program
Current Clinician and/or Psychiatrist
Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (Child or Adult Mobile Crisis)
Ways to be Helpful to Someone who is Threatening Suicide Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal individuals desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems. Most suicidal individuals give definite warnings of their suicidal intentions, but others are either unaware of the significance of these warnings or do not know how to respond to them. Talking about suicide does not cause someone to be suicidal.
Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad. Don't lecture on the value of life.
Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
Don't dare him or her to do it.
Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
Get help by calling the Suicide Prevention HELP!Line 24-hours a day at 1-800-273-TALK.
References: U.S. Public Health Service, Mental Health: National Strategy to Prevent Suicide: Goals and Objectives for Action. NCHS National Vital Statistics System for numbers of death, U.S. Bureau of Census for population estimates. Statistics compiled using WISQARS, produced by the Office of Statistics and Programming, NCIPC CDC. Injury Fact Book 2006, National Center of Injury Prevention and Control. Connecticut School Health Survey, 2007.