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  • Knowing these signs can save the life of a loved one.

    Suicide Prevention

    According to Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention (CDC), every day, approximately 123 Americans commit suicide. That means there is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes. (CDC)

    However, suicide is preventable. Successful suicide prevention involves understanding suicide risk, protective factors, available resources and procedures for maintaining wellbeing. Although Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute’s (PPI’s) providers are trained to notice the signs of suicidal ideation and behaviors in our patients, educating our community on these signs means we can work together to help more people in need.

    Common warning signs that can indicate suicidal behavior:

    • • Talking about wanting to die
    • • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
    • • Planning or preparing for a suicide attempt (e.g., buying a gun)
    • • Making financial and other arrangements for dependents
    • • Social withdrawal
    • • Substance abuse

    Those at higher risk for suicide tend to have a history of:

    • • Non-suicidal self-injury
    • • Psychiatric diagnoses, or onset of psychiatric symptoms
    • • Traumatic brain injuries
    • • Traumatic childhood experiences
    • • Military service (i.e., service members and veterans)
    • • Previous suicide attempt(s)
    • • LGTBQ+
    • • Loss of employment, housing, or a relationship
    • • Suicide death of a relative or peer

    On the contrary, those with the following protective factors tend to be at lower risk:

    • • Employment
    • • Responsibilities to others
    • • Strong interpersonal bonds
    • • Resilience
    • • Sense of belonging and identity
    • • Access to health care
    • • Optimistic outlook

    If you notice any of the above warning signs in someone you know, have a conversation with them and tell them of your concern. Do not be afraid to ask them if they are considering suicide.

    • • Let them know you care, and that they are not alone, and that they can get help. Do not try arguing with them, and do not say things like “You have so much to live for” or “If you kill yourself, it will hurt your family.”
    • • Ask them if they are seeing a doctor or are taking medication. If so, encourage them to contact their provider immediately. You can also offer to help them find a mental health professional and/or take them to a walk-in psychiatric clinic or hospital emergency room.
    • • Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
    • • Do not leave them alone.

    If you are in emotional distress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255. Trained counselors are available 24/7.

    If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.

    If you would like to speak to someone about better managing your stress and anxiety, or to make an appointment, please call (717) 782-6493 for more information.



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