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Suicide: An American Crisis

Link to Spanish version.

Suicide is the most common type of violent death in the U.S. and Oklahoma. More than 32,000 people in the U.S. and 500 people in Oklahoma kill themselves each year, more than double that of homicides.

Warning Signs/Red Flags for Suicidal Behavior

  • Threatened or communicated wanting to hurt or kill one’s self
  • Looking for ways to kill one’s self by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary
  • Excessive or increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose of life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling like there’s no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

What do I do if I know someone is thinking/talking about suicide?

Encourage Them To Talk To Someone – They Are Not Alone. 
Contact:

  • A community mental health agency
  • A school counselor or psychologist
  • A suicide prevention/crisis intervention center
  • A parent or religious/spiritual leader
  • A private therapist
  • A family physician
  • Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Call 211

Prevention

  • Educating physicians in recognizing and treating depression
    Restricting access to lethal means
  • Fostering religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation
  • Openly discussing warning signs and symptoms of depression in schools, churches, and families (when appropriate)
  • School environments that
    • Build problem-solving skills
    • Create the feeling of safety at school
    • Identify and provide counseling for students in crisis
    • Provide opportunities for academic achievement
  • Family and school connectedness that fosters consistent values and individual growth

Internet Resources

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised July 2012

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