Suicide, More Common Then You Think

Clubs and Organizations

January 22, 2016


Suicide is a major public health problem on national and state levels. Although suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death over-all in Tennessee, it is the second-leading cause among youth aged 15-24. In 2014 there were 945 suicides in Tennessee.

Suicide occurs across all ethnic, racial, economic and social boundaries. Four times as many men die by suicide, but three times as many women attempt suicide. Suicide is the most preventable form of death: most suicidal people desperately want to live; they just can't see a way out of their problems.  Help them by giving them the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number (1-800-273-TALK). It will connect the person to a crisis center near them where a trained counselor can provide confidential help.  It could save their lives.

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) offers additional information on suicide warning signs and local crisis intervention resources on its website (www.tspn.org) The site also provides information on suicide prevention training programs that can teach anyone how to identify troubled and/or suicidal people and connect them with the resources they need, ultimately saving lives.

Suicide: Signs of Concern 

Most people who think about suicide don't really want to die: they just want their pain to end. About 80% of the time, people who kill themselves have given definite signals or talked about suicide. This means that first of all, most suicides can be prevented and second, that all suicide threats or attempts must be taken seriously.

Most people who consider suicide have depression or a related mental illness, and as a result have a sense of hopelessness. It is frequently precipitated by a great personal loss, such as the death of a loved one, a major move, or loss of health or jobs. Watch for signs of depression and current talk of suicide or making a plan, a previous attempt, a strong wish to die, giving away cherished objects or making final plans, and increased alcohol or drug use. You can prevent a suicide by learning to recognize the signs of concern and taking those signs seriously.

There are many types of help and ways you can support someone who is risk. One way is to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number (1-800-273-TALK). It will connect the person to a crisis center near them where a trained counselor can provide confidential help.  It could save their lives.

Free suicide prevention awareness training is available in Tennessee through the Jason Foundation, Inc., which focuses youth suicide, and the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN), which works to prevent suicide across the lifespan.  Free information about youth suicide is available through the Jason Foundation website (www.jasonfoundation.com), information regarding suicide in Tennessee as a whole is available through TSPN's website (www.tspn.org).

TTY line: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

For non-emergency information on suicide prevention, contact the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network at (615) 297-1077 or tspn@tspn.org