cALL 800-273-8255 or
text "sos" to 741741
Top 10 Tips for Reporting on Suicide
2017 saw another record and a big jump where 825 Oregonians killed themselves, 43 more than ever before and 98 were youth. In Curry County,14 people killed themselves, the most ever and 3 more than in 2016. Five of them were veterans.
The CDC reports that almost 700,000 people attempted suicide that ended them in an ER and they further estimate that there are 25 overall attempts for every successful suicide which represents over 1.2 million people who attempt suicide each year. Furthermore, the CDC estimates that there are over 9 million people who seriously consider suicide every year.
Research shows that 75% of the people who kill themselves had contact with their GP within a year of their death and 45% within 30 days.
That's where Zero Attempts comes in. Concentrating on individuals, families, and community members who are not already in the healthcare system but may be in crisis, but because of the stigma of revealing their mental health dilemma, stay isolated and don't open up to talk about their current mental health state because it doesn't feel safe to let people know what's going on.
Research shows that 90% of those who kill themselves had communicated their distress to someone before they took action and for whatever reason, the person didn't know the signs, didn't pick up on the distress call, didn't know what to do if they did know the signs, or were afraid to get involved.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.
Half of all mental health disorders start by age 14. This increases to 75% by age 24. Left untreated, children with mental health problems are at greater risk of abusing drugs or alcohol, becoming involved with the criminal justice system, dropping out of school and killing themselves
Nationally, over 14% of high school students have considered attempting suicide. In Curry County about 20% of 6th, 8th and 11th graders "seriously" considered it last year.
Nationally almost 7% of high school students actually attempted suicide in the past year. In Curry County it was 8.7% of 6th graders, 10.7% of 8th graders and 10.1% of 11th graders attempted. And all of these numbers have gone up each year for the last five years.
The sad thing for many parents who lost their child to suicide, is when they checked their child's cell phone after a suicide, were shocked to see all the distress their children were experiencing. This not my child syndrome" is common and is a serious situation to overcome. It is a particularly dangerous attitude for parents to have and this program will help many of them understand the severity of the situation and what to do.
The fact is that anyone can be at risk of suicide. The path to suicide is complex and predicting it is not as easy as looking for a simple cause and effect. Losing a job, being bullied, having served in the military, or having a mental health diagnosis are not causes of suicide. Resting on these assumptions can lead to missed opportunities to recognize pain and reach out to help. Early identification and intervention4 can be a life saver.
Talking directly about suicide can help someone, including you, in distressful times. Even when we know that asking someone about suicide will not cause them to consider suicide5, it can be difficult to raise the topic. Start with the simple question R U OK? If you don't ask, you may be gambling that no one else will ask before it's too late because they may also be afraid.
The bottom line is that we all need to be involved, show our concern, don't be afraid to ask, and make it our business. What's the worst that can happen? They say "Mind your own business" or "I'm fine, thank-you." The best that can happen is that they see that someone cares and you are able to get them help and alleviate unnecessary suffering and potential harm to themselves or others. The more you know, the more you'll be aware of how many of your friends and possibly family members are in or close to crisis. The law of averages says that 1 in 5 adults have a mental health issue at any one time.
preventable. Knowing the signs is a start, but not enough.
The statement "It takes a village" has never been more
appropriate than in the area of suicide and
that prevention is a shared responsibility where every
person has the potential to make a difference and save
someone's life. Especially
our youth. We all have a roll in suicide prevention and by
working together we have a good chance to see the change we
wish to see. Zero Attempts.
To change this we're looking for at least 240 individuals, and businesses, organizations, government entities and non-profits who rely on good employees, to donate $50 each for the production and distribution of over 22,000 16-page, four-color, glossy newspaper inserts to be placed in major newspapers in Coos, Curry and Del Norte counties in September which is Suicide Awareness and Prevention month.
Our goal is to remove the stigma around suicide by understanding suicide prevention and demystifying it with informational sections outlining important risk factors, warning signs, and contributing factors, how to intervene and talk with someone you are concerned about, what to say, how to determine if it is an emergency and what to do if it is.
It will have special sections on youth, veterans, and the elderly and a usually overlooked area - the impact of suicide on the workplace.
For your donation you will get your name or the name of your business or organization featured on the back cover joining many other community members to be part of the solution to reduce, eventually to Zero, the number of suicides and attempts in Coos, Curry and Del Norte counties. Send a $50 check today, made payable to United Way of Southwestern Oregon with "Finding Hope" in the memo field and send it to UWSWO, Attn.: Finding Hope, PO Box 1288, Coos Bay, OR 97420. Note whether you want your name or your organization's name listed or if you prefer to remain anonymous.
We hope you see how valuable it could be to get this information in the homes of all of your neighbors where it's handy for reading and thinking about what they can do. We believe that the community will start noticing how many of their family, neighbors and friends might be on the verge of a crisis and how important it is to know what to do, and not do, to show you care.
Suicide is an all-time high in the
U.S. and in Oregon. Join us to change that scenario to make
a difference in people's lives and the lives and health of
our communities. - Gordon Clay