Suicide is a serious problem that impacts families, friends, and communities - and suicide deaths are slowly increasing each year. Most of the times, people who have died by suicide have a potentially treatable mental disorder. Thus, the first step to suicide prevention is suicide awareness.
Facts and Figures*
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans
- Those among 45 to 64 years old have the highest suicide rate
- Men are 4 times as more likely to commit suicide
- In 2013, 483,596 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior
Warning Signs and Risk Factors
People who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warnings, the greater the risk.
If a person talks about:
- Killing themselves.
- Having no reason to live.
- Being a burden to others.
- Seeking revenge.
- Feeling trapped.
- Unbearable pain.
A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change.
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Acting recklessly.
- Withdrawing from activities.
- Sleeping too much or too little.
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
- Giving away prized possession.
- Suffering from Panic attacks.
Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life. The more risk factors, the higher the risk.
- Contagion would include exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide.
- Access to Lethal Means including firearms and drugs.
- Prolonged Stress Factors which may include harassment, bullying, relationship problems, and unemployment.
- Stressful Life Events which may include a death, divorce, or job loss.
- Mental Health Problems.
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
If you suspect someone is at risk for suicide:
- Do not leave them alone.
- Have them call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Help them remove lethal means like firearms and drugs.
- Call or escort them to an emergency room, counseling service, or psychiatrist.
- In an emergency, call 911.
Touched by Suicide
Touched by Suicide is an organization in North Texas aimed at providing support for those who have been affected by suicide. TBS offers support groups in a comfortable setting where sharing and supporting is provided to anyone who has experienced the death of family or friend by suicide. Visit the Touched by Suicide website for more information.
Local TBS Support Group meetings:
Denton: St. Mark's Catholic Church
2800 Pennsylvania Drive, Denton, TX 76205
1st Thursdays, 7:00 p.m.
Facilitators: Carol and Larry Walker
Flower Mound: Trinity Presbyterian Church
5500 Morriss Road, Flower Mound, TX 75028
1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m.
Facilitators: Lesa Bansfield & LaNelia Ramette
Lewisville: Vista Ridge United Methodist Church
2901 Denton Tap Road, Lewisville, TX 75067
2nd Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.
Facilitators: Martha Giles and Kim Bremer