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Story - Suicide Prevention

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In the United States someone dies by their own hand, on average, every fifteen minutes. These tragic, sometimes preventable deaths leave a legacy of anguish and guilt in families and communities.

The stigma associated with mental illness often discourages people from seeking help. A willingness to talk about depression and suicide with a friend, family member or co-worker can be the first step in getting help and preventing suicide. “Everyone has a role to play in the prevention of suicide,” said Gina Eckart, Director of Division of Mental Health and Addiction. “When you suspect someone is hurting or may be considering harming themselves, reach out to the suicide prevention resource. Nobody wants to look back and ask ‘what if?’”

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in Indiana and the United States. In 2008, there were almost 800 deaths due to suicide in Indiana. One death is too many. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, nearly 75 percent of those who die from suicide exhibit one or more warning signs, including depression, isolation, not sleeping or an increase in chronic pain, irritability or anger. Increased use of alcohol and drugs can also be warning signs.

If you or someone you know exhibits suicide warning signs, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255), the Suicide Hotline at 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433). Additional information is available on the Indiana Suicide Prevention Web site:

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