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> Depression & Suicide

Depression & Suicide

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
  • Hopelessness
  • 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
  • Family Member/Friend
  • Religious Leader
  • Teacher/Guidance Counselor
  • 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)
  • Emergency Room

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.


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