September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. Suicide rates in the U.S. have increased by 25% over the past 2 decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death.
As part of an on-going conversation about suicide, Jewish Community Services (JCS) recently joined several community partners for a free community program to help raise awareness and talk about suicide prevention. Stacey Meadows, Manager, JCS Therapy Services, who took part in that program’s panel, offers answers to some audience questions from that evening.
Risk factors for suicide include:
- Depression, severe anxiety or another mental health condition
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Traumatic experiences – recent or even in the past
- Losses that hit the person hard (relationships, jobs, serious illness)
- Barriers to getting mental health treatment
- Past suicidal behavior or family history of suicide
Signs to look for include:
- People may seem down or agitated or they’re just not themselves
- Withdrawing from people or activities
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
- Talking about life being hard or hopeless
If you or someone you know is struggling, consider seeking help from a qualified professional at JCS or other agencies. For more information and a list of suicide resources, visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.
Jewish Community Services (JCS) provides a broad range of services that meet the diverse, multi-dimensional needs of individuals and families throughout Central Maryland. JCS offers guidance and support to help you live your best life. Learn more at jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.