Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk With Someone

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk With Someone

The deaths last week of designer Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, a celebrity chef and television host, had everyone talking about suicide. Ridgway notes that "if we are really going to address the issue of suicide in Tennessee, we need additional funding in our state devoted specifically to suicide prevention efforts".

But when at-risk individuals and those who know them reach out for help, the chance of suicide significantly decreases.

Melissa Kurtenbach will appear on KVOE's Talk of Emporia at 11:06 a.m. Friday with more information on suicide prevention.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that between 1999-2016, about half of all states saw an uptick of at least 30 percent in suicides. But US suicide rates have risen among almost every age group of men and women, from 10 year olds on up.

In most cases, the mistakes made by news organizations were early in the coverage, committed by people inexperienced in such stories, she said. But other factors - strained relationships, work or finance stressors, poor physical health, recent or impending crises - are important to recognize as well. While psychiatry services are covered by OHIP in Ontario, a visit to a psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor is not, and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association estimates 50-minute session costs at between $60 and $150 - out of reach for many.

Draper said the reason for the uptick is two-fold: a celebrity suicide can trigger suicidal thoughts in people who might already vulnerable to them, and publicizing the phone number to call for support increases odds that people will call.

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The phenomenon is often referred to as "suicide contagion", defined by the Department of Health and Human Services as an increase in suicides due to "the exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors within one's family, one's peer group, or through media reports of suicide".

If you believe your loved one or friend is at risk of suicide, do not leave him or her alone. The two states also experienced the second and third biggest increases, more than 48 percent, in the period studied by the CDC. We can not prevent all suicides, but we create an environment where the potential for suicide is at least unlikely by being there for each other and encouraging them to seek help.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Everyone who sends a text will be connected with a crisis counselor.

"Be available", he says. And just be sure to follow through and not just ask, 'How are you?' one day and then disappear.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the NJ Hopeline at 1-855-654-6735, New Jersey's 24/7 Peer Support & Suicide Prevention Hotline.

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