Suicide Prevention Services
Suicide affects people all over the world and each death has far reaching effects. In 2014, over 42,000 people in the United States killed themselves. It is the 11th leading cause of death in Louisiana and the 2nd leading cause of death for 10-24 year olds. 22 veterans and service members kill themselves every day. In Louisiana, 679 people killed themselves in 2014.
It is estimated that there are over 25 suicide attempts for every death by suicide. For 15-24 year olds, the estimate is 100-200 attempts to each death by suicide; for the elderly, there are 4 attempts for each death by suicide. While 90% of the individuals who attempt suicide do not die by suicide, previous suicide attempts are one of the risk factors for suicide.
It is estimated that one in eighteen people are affected by someone else's suicide. As many as 25 people who survive a loved ones' death by suicide experiences a major life disruption. Suicide Loss Survivors are at greater risk for suicide.
In many cases, deaths by suicide can be prevented. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Behavioral Health strives to reduce the number of suicide deaths across the lifespan and to provide early intervention for those individuals identified as being at risk of suicide. OBH encourages Louisiana residents to look for warning signs in people who may be in crisis as part of the office's suicide prevention services.
Suicide Warning Signs
If you know someone who is exhibiting any of these signs, reach out and encourage the individual to contact a mental health professional as soon as possible.
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself;
- Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means;
- Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person;
- Feeling hopeless;
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge;
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking;
- Feeling trapped - like there's no way out;
- Increasing alcohol or drug use;
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and society;
- Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time;
- Experiencing dramatic mood changes; or
- Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life.
Individuals who would like to learn more about the behavioral health services toward suicide prevention LDH offers should look for regional services in their areas.