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Addressing Suicide: July 2, 2019

There can be big signs. “We should always take any comment or hint towards someone wanting to die,” said Laurie Johnson, a behavioral health clinical coordinator with Lee Health.

Many times the signs can be subtle, and easily overlooked. “A lack of interest in once enjoyable activities. I feel hopeless is a big word or helpless or worthless; you want to pay attention to that and explore it further with the individual,” said Johnson.

Startling statistics show each year, approximately one million people die from suicide—making it important to notice if a loved one has sudden changes to their behavior like losing weight, gaining weight, or isolating themselves. “I think it’s important for people to understand that it’s ok to talk to their loved one about it. To say, I have concerns about this; can we talk about it more? Because I think family members are fearful that it could cause somebody to do something and that’s not accurate,” she said.

She encourages loved ones to reach out and let the person know you’re there to help. “There are usually signs. It’s hard for somebody, in my experience, to say, I feel like doing this. It’s hard for a lot of people to seek out a mental health professional because it has a stigma attached to it.  

Recognizing and addressing the early signs, whether they are verbal or non-verbal, and offering help can save someone from suicide.


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