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Suicide Warning Signs: February 11, 2019

“I’m really struggling here. I’m really having a hard time. I need some help.” These are the statement Laurie Johnson, a behavioral health clinical coordinator with Lee Health, says need to be taken seriously. “Statements like, nobody cares, what is the use--just hopelessness,” Johnson says all can all be warning signs for suicidal thoughts.

“Most people when they’re making statements they are reaching out and asking for help, they just maybe don’t know how to do it,” said Johnson.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.—and while studies show the risks are higher for people with a history of psychiatric disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance abuse, health experts say suicidal thoughts can happen to people with no medical history. “No one is immune to the potential of developing suicidal thoughts or developing a plan even if there’s no history of it,” she said.

Making it important to also recognize nonverbal signs, like sudden changes to a person’s behavior. “Isolation, they start to disengage from people more. Depression. Despair. Lack of sleep or excessive sleeping,” said Johnson.

It’s important to talk to your loved one if you notice any concerning changes. “Most individuals are willing to talk about it, and they want the help,” she said.

Recognizing the signs, talking to a loved one, and seeking professional help can help them through a difficult time—even save them from suicide.

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