World Mental Health Awareness Day focuses on suicide prevention

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(NEWS10) – World Mental Health Awareness Day is an annual event held on October 10 to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

This year World Mental Health Day is focusing on suicide prevention with the theme 40 Seconds of Action to raise awareness to the scale of suicide around the world and the role each one of us can play to help prevent suicide and reduce the stigma.

According to the World Health Organization, there are close to 800,000 suicides each year. It’s the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.

Warning signs someone may be seriously thinking about suicide

Here are some signs to watch out for, according to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

What you can do

  • Find an appropriate time and a quiet place to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about.
  • Encourage the person to seek help from a professional, such as a doctor, mental health professional, counselor, or social worker. Offer to accompany them to the appointment.
  • If you think the person is in immediate danger, do not leave them alone. Seek professional help from emergency services, a crisis line, or a health-care professional, or turn to family members.
  • If the person you are worried about lives with you, ensure that he or she does not have access to means of self-harm.
  • Stay in touch and check how the person is doing.

If you or anyone you know may be at risk of suicide, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or message the Crisis Text Line “GOT5” to 741-741.

The day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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