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Suicide remains a major health issue
Written by Submitted   
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 5:16 PM

National Suicide Prevention Week is being commemorated Sunday, Sept. 9, through Saturday, Sept. 15, with World Suicide Prevention Day set for Monday, Sept. 10.

Suicide is a major health issue around the world and here in Southeastern Indiana.

Community Mental Health Center, Inc., Lawrenceburg, continues to be concerned every day, as suicide remains a leading cause of death in the U.S. and in Indiana and a cause for alarm in CMHC’s service area in Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties. CMHC hopes to raise awareness of this tragic problem and to let everyone know there is help available.

According to data compiled for 2003 through 2009 by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as reported on the website worldlifeexpectancy.com, Indiana had a suicide rate during this period of 12.82 per 100,000 individuals, as compared to the U.S. rate of 11.79 per 100,000 individuals. CDC provides the following rates and rankings among Indiana’s 92 counties for counties in CMHC’s service area during this period: Ohio County, 19th, 16.1 per 100,000; Switzerland County, 25th, 15.1 per 100,000; Franklin County, 41st, 13.1 per 100,000; Ripley County, 49th, 12.0 per 100,000, and Dearborn County, 76th, 9.6 per 100,000.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with one suicide occurring on average every 14 minutes. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year olds. In the United States, the elderly make up nearly 13% of the population, but nearly 16% of all suicides. About 922,275 Americans attempt suicide each year, and it is estimated that five million living Americans have attempted suicide. Although there are no official national statistics on attempted suicide, it is generally estimated that there are 25 attempts for each death by suicide. An estimated 4.7 million Americans are survivors of the suicide of a family member, loved one or friend.

There are warning signs that indicate someone may be contemplating suicide. These may include: hopelessness; rage or uncontrolled anger; acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities; feeling trapped; an increase in alcohol or drug use; withdrawing from family and friends; anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep or sleeping more than usual; dramatic mood changes, and feeling no sense of purpose in life or reason for living.

Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal individuals desperately want to live, but are unable to see alternatives to their problems. Be aware if you know someone experiencing any of the above warning signs. Get involved and become available for someone whom you suspect may be contemplating or planning self-harm. Show interest and support the individual. Be direct with the individual and talk openly and freely about suicide. Be willing to listen. Allow for expression of feeling and accept those feelings. Offer hope that alternatives are available. Take action – remove means for committing suicide and get help immediately from individuals and agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Community Mental Health Center provides crisis intervention services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those services are available by calling 1-877-849-1248. If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling, or about referring a family member or friend for help, you may call 1-812-537-1302 for information. You may also access CMHC’s website at www.cmhcinc.org for information about CMHC’s services and community offices.
Services of Community Mental Health Center, Inc. are provided without regard to race, religion, disability, gender, color, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, political belief, status as a veteran, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.