Saving a loved one from suicide

Tools

By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- "Feeling trapped like there is no way out of the situation they are in," says Jennifer Myers, Coordinator for suicide prevention at The Counseling Center of USC.

Experts say the number of Americans dying from suicide is growing, especially in young adults.

"In the college age group 17-22 years, it's the number two cause of death behind accidents," says Bill Lindsey, Executive Director of NAMI SC.

But Lindsey, says young adults aren't the only ones affected.

"Over 36,700 people completed suicide in 2009, that's over 100 a day," says Lindsey.

However, you can help.

"Knowing the signs and taking them seriously when you see them," says Myers.

"Someone is talking about killing themselves, maybe someone is expressing a desire to die. They're stating there's no reason for living, there's no purpose for their life, they're talking about things being hopeless," says Myers.

But what happens when you don't see any signs?

"That's one of the toughest things about knowing someone that's killed themselves, is you look back and you think maybe I missed this, maybe I missed that," says Myers.

Facebook is also working to prevent suicide by allowing you to report a suicidal status or post.

Lindsey says suicide is an issue that has been placed on the back burner.

"What we are doing now isn't working, we aren't we're not working, we're not talking about it, we're not encouraging people to get help," says Lindsey

Crandall Sims reporting,"The National Alliance of Mental Illness of South Carolina currently has a bill up for debate that may help prevent suicide. It would allow South Carolina patients the chance to sign a release allowing someone they trust to help with their care."

Lindsey says lots of times a loved one will mention things that the patient may not remember or feel comfortable talking about.

"With the proper questions and people paying attention it's one of the most preventable deaths that there is," says Lindsey.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, experts ask that you seek help, you can do so by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800--TALK (8255) or you can call the Columbia are mental health center at 803-898-8888.

Friday, March 2, 2012, The Helping the Hurting: Faith Communities Response to Suicide event will be held at the Midlands Technical College Airport campus. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Academic Center room 143.
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