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Opinion

Knowing warning signs of suicide can save a life

September 10th, 2015 11:30 am by Editorial Board

Knowing warning signs of suicide can save a life

If you’ve not suffered depression to the point you consider ending your own life, it’s difficult to understand such despair.

That makes it tough for folks to identify persons at risk for suicide.

The objective of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Tennessee each September is to help save a life by recognizing the signs that someone you know may be at risk. And acting to save that life.

Every day of the year, two to three Tennesseans take their own lives. That’s more violent deaths than are caused by homicides.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults aged 15-24 in Tennessee and the U.S. at large.

In almost all cases, suicide can be traced to unrecognized, untreated or poorly treated mental illness. But it’s a mental illness that is not always easily observed. And it may be dismissed as a “bad day” or someone who is described as often “quiet.”

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network’s website at tspn.org includes a “30 Days of Saving Lives in Tennessee” calendar, which offers suggestions on things people can do every day to promote suicide prevention in their communities during the month.

That organization and others in the public health, mental health, and social service fields are joining forces to offer educational events across the state to help teach the general public about the problem of suicide and how it can be prevented.

They also give opportunity to remember those lost to suicide; to encourage survivors of suicide, survivors of suicide attempts, and people who have triumphed over mental illness; and to recognize individuals who have made notable contributions to suicide prevention efforts in our state.

Take some time to check out the network and learn what to look for. It won’t take more than a few minutes, and it could save a life.

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