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Suicide Education and Prevention

No suicide attempt should be dismissed or treated lightly

Bryan Health is a regional leader in mental health services. Education and prevention are vital ways we support our community. We are pleased to collaborate with the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition and others to provide suicide prevention awareness and education to our community, state and region.

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Bryan's Dr. David Miers and Zia Choudhry, MD, Discuss Suicide Prevention

Why Do People Commit Suicide?

A suicide attempt is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. No matter the race or age of the person or how rich or poor they are, it is true that most people who commit suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying disorder is depression; 30 percent to 70 percent of suicide victims suffer depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.

Warning Signs of Someone Considering Suicide

Any one of these symptoms does not necessarily mean the person is suicidal, but several of these symptoms may signal a need for help:

  • Verbal suicide threats such as, “You’d be better off without me.” or “Maybe I won’t be around.”
  • Expressions of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Daring or risk-taking behavior
  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Lack of interest in future plans

Remember

Eight out of 10 suicidal people give some sign of their intentions. People who talk about suicide, threaten to commit suicide, or call suicide crisis centers are 30 times more likely than average to kill themselves.

What to Do if You Think Someone is Suicidal

Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble. Talk with the person about your concerns. Communication must include LISTENING.

  • Ask direct questions without being judgmental. Determine if the person has a specific plan to carry out the suicide
  • The more detailed the plan, the greater the risk
  • Do not counsel the person yourself
  • Get professional help, even if the person resists
  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Remove any likely methods of self-harm or suicide
  • Do not swear to secrecy
  • Do not act shocked or judgmental
  • Don’t worry. Talking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicide

Providing a Safe Home for a Person Who May Be Suicidal

Steps you can take to make your home safe:

  • Alcohol: Remove from the home or limit amounts available
  • Firearms: Restrict or prevent access to weapons. When possible, remove weapons from the property
  • Vehicles: Prevent easy access to transportation
  • Ensure that poisons and pesticides are locked up or removed
  • Medications: Supervise the taking of medications
  • Do not discontinue medication without discussing the decision with the doctor
  • Dispose of unused or out-of-date medications
  • Get only a minimal amount of prescription medications

Resources

  • Clergy
  • Mental health professionals
  • Medical professionals
  • School counselors
  • Law-enforcement agencies

Additional resources

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