Suicide is one of the greatest tragedies imaginable for a victim and their loved ones. Each year suicide claims approximately 30,000 lives in America which makes it responsible for slightly more than 1 percent of deaths in the United States. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are a psychiatric emergency requiring immediate intervention to prevent this disastrous event. It is the most common psychiatric emergency with close to 1 million Americans receiving treatment for suicidal thoughts, behaviors or attempts on a yearly basis.
As suicidal thoughts or behaviors are a psychiatric emergency, the involvement of properly-trained mental health professionals is necessary. For some people, this means making an appointment to see a therapist or a psychiatrist; for other people, it may mean calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room. After they are evaluated by a mental health professional, some people may be able to continue outpatient treatment; others may require inpatient psychiatric hospitalization to manage their symptoms.
If they have concerns that someone close to them is suicidal, family and friends can be most helpful in encouraging their loved one to seek treatment. Some people may be afraid that they could worsen the situation if they bring up the topic of suicide with their loved one. While this is a common concern, scientific studies show that asking about suicide—and encouraging their loved one to get help—does not increase the risk of suicide. Rather, addressing concerns about suicide is helpful in preventing suicide. If you would like more information regarding suicide prevention, please visit www.namimonroecounty.org and feel free to contact us!