To The Herald-Whig:
National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week is Sept. 7-13. There is an average of 123 suicides each day in this country. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds.
Don't be afraid to ask the tough question when someone you know is in emotional pain: "Are you thinking about killing yourself?" In this time of uncertainty with COVID-19, it is especially important to take care of your mental health. Our goal is to reduce stigma, support those who have lost someone to suicide and educate our community about suicide risks.
Suicide prevention must be everyone's business. If you think someone is considering suicide, assume you are the only one who will reach out. Know the risk factors and warning signs that can lead to suicide listed on the Adams County Suicide Prevention Alliance web page, acsuicideprevention.org.
If a person says they are considering suicide, take it serious, stay with them, remove lethal means and get them to mental health services or an emergency room. Always let them know suicide is never the answer. Life is precious, and taking a minute to reach out can save a life.
Remember, help is just a phone call away. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255).
Chuck Johnson, NCC, ACS, LCPC
Adams County Suicide Prevention Coalition