It’s OK to talk to your child or an adult about suicide. You are not giving them ideas. In fact, you are giving them permission to open up and talk about the risks of suicide. It’s important to ask the question, to talk.
Suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in Kansas in 2018. The number of suicide deaths in the state has been increasing over the past two decades. Many factors can combine to influence a person to attempt suicide, including mental disorders, traumatic stress, substance abuse, impulsivity, chronic pain, loss or other treatable illnesses.
At Stormont Vail Health, we are committed to reducing the stigma of suicide and mental illness and raising awareness about the resources and information available. Our Behavioral Health team provides inpatient and outpatient treatments integrated with many of our other patient areas. We are here to take care of your physical and mental health.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, please:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Call 800-273-TALK (8255)
Text HOME to 741741
Valeo Behavioral Health Care Crisis Hotline (Adults)
Call (785) 234-3300
Family Services & Guidance Center’s Crisis Services (Children)
Call (785) 232-5005
Stormont Vail Behavioral Health Call
WARNING SIGNS FOR SUICIDE
Often times, people will have one or more warning signs before attempting suicide. Some signs include:
● Saying they want to kill themselves or want to die
● Looking for ways to kill themselves (pills, gun)
● Feeling that they are a burden to others
● Withdrawing from activities or people
● Giving away possessions
● Saying goodbye to friends or family
● Increased use of alcohol or drugs
● Feeling hopeless or trapped
● Feeling extreme rage or anxiety
Seek professional help if you see any of these warning signs, especially if the behaviors are new.
RISK FACTORS FOR SUICIDE
Many factors contribute to someone making a suicide attempt, but there are some common characteristics. These may include:
● Depression or other mental health disorders
● Previous suicide attempt
● Substance abuse
● Family history of suicide, mental disorder or substance abuse
● Chronic pain
● Traumatic brain injury
● History of abuse or trauma
● Recent stressful life events
● Having lethal items like guns or prescription drugs in the home
Please note, many people have these risk factors and may never attempt suicide.
SUICIDE REDUCTION STRATEGIES
Firearms: Because they are so lethal in suicide attempts, firearms should be temporarily removed from access until the person has improved. If removal is not an option, unloaded firearms should be locked securely, with ammo locked in a separate location.
Medications: Don’t keep lethal doses on hand. Your doctor, pharmacist, or the poison control center can help you determine how much to keep on hand and the rest should be locked up. Be especially cautious with prescription painkillers.
Alcohol: Since it can increase the chances that people make unwise choices, only small amounts of alcohol should be available.
SUICIDE AWARENESS RESOURCES
Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition (Support, Educational and Awareness Resources)
Kansas Suicide Prevention Headquarters
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Resources
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Risks of Suicide
The Jed Foundation (for young people)
The Trevor Project (support for LGBTQ young people), 1-866-488-7386
The Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255:
Survivors of Suicide Booklet (Support groups and mental health resources)
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas
Mental Health Center Directory for Kansas
Stormont Vail Behavioral Health
Valeo Behavioral Health Care (adults)
Family Service and Guidance (children and adolescents)
Compassionate Ear Warmline
Peer-run listening service that provides non-crisis supportive listening, coping strategies, information and a reprieve from loneliness or isolation.
Local: (913) 281-2251
Toll Free: (866) 927-6327
Hours: Operates 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night of the year.
Depression Bipolar Support Alliance
Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition