Suicidal thoughts are common. Suicidal acts, threats, and attempts are less common, but much more frequent than most people realize. Suicide is the most common psychiatric emergency and is the eighth leading cause of death in Utah. In the Kane County School District, 16% of eighth graders, 25% of 10th graders, and 21% of 12th graders have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months. Nine percent of eighth graders reported attempting suicide in the past 12 months according to the 2015 SHARP survey data.

Most suicidal people are depressed, and depression is common. Depression is both biological and psychological in nature and is the number one cause of suicidal behavior. Seventy seven percent of 12th graders in Kane County report having moderate depressive symptoms (six percent higher than the state average). Depressive symptoms are defined as feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing usual activities. If detected, it is highly treatable.

Suicide is preventable. Suicide is the most preventable form of death. There are many ways to help save the life of someone thinking about suicide. If you suspect someone is suicidal reach out. Asking the suicide question DOES NOT increase risk. Listen. Talking things out can save a life. Offer hope in any form. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get others involved. Don’t promise secrecy and don’t worry about being disloyal.

If persuasion fails, call your mental health center, local hotline, or emergency services.

Suicide warning signs include but are not limited to: suicide threats, previous suicide attempts, alcohol and drug abuse, statements revealing a desire to die, sudden changes in behavior, prolonged depression, making final arrangements, giving away prized possessions, and purchasing a gun or stockpiling pills.

If you would like to learn more about preventing suicide and recognizing mental illness Southwest Behavioral Health Center offers two free trainings. These trainings are open to the public or can be scheduled with groups of five or more. QPR is a two hour suicide prevention training covering the signs and symptoms of suicide and what to do when you recognize those signs. Mental Health First Aid is an eight hour course designed to teach participants how to help people developing a mental illness. SBHC will be offering QPR on Friday, January 22 from 6-8 p.m. and Mental Health First Aid on Monday, February 15 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Lunch provided). If you are interested in signing up for these trainings, or would like to schedule a private training, please contact Ashley Heaton at (435)819-0174 or aheaton@sbhcutah.org.

 

Kane County

Emergency Service numbers

Southwest Behavioral Health Center (435) 644-4520

1-800-273-TALK

1-800-SUICIDE

Kane County Hospital (435) 644-5600