Oklahoma has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. Fortunately, everyone can do something to fight Oklahoma’s suicide crisis.
Did you know that most people who commit suicide don’t want to die? People contemplating suicide say they want the darkness and pain to go away. Showing your concern by asking “How are you feeling?” and “Can I Help?” makes a difference. Concern is usually met with relief so don’t hesitate to get involved.
How do you know if someone is at risk of suicide? Here are some key signs:
- Suicide talk or threats
- Previous suicide attempt
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Statements about dying
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Prolonged depression
- Making final arrangements
- Giving away prized possession
- Calling to say goodbye
- Purchasing a gun or stockpiling pills
People thinking about suicide:
- Talk about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talk about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talk about being a burden to others
- Increase alcohol or drug use
- Act anxious, agitated or reckless
- Sleep too little or too much
- Withdraw or isolate themselves
- Show rage or talk about revenge
- Display extreme mood swings
- Exhibit changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Neglect personal appearance
- Change personality and behaviors
What are some things that anyone can do to help?
- QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Mental Health Association Oklahoma offers training:
Question: Ask the person about suicide. Do you have thoughts or plans?
Persuade. Listen carefully, and then say, let’s find help.
Refer. Don’t leave them alone. Reach out for expert help available day or night
- Call 911
- CALM Center at 918.394.2256 for children ages 10-17
- COPES at 918.744.4800
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273-8255
- Veterans Suicide Hotline (1.800.273.8255 press 1) Veterans’ suicide rates are more than double non-veterans.
If more help is needed, the professionals at these numbers will direct you.
Let’s commit to preventing suicide today by raising awareness and encouraging everyone to ask the important questions.