September not only ushers in thoughts of fall and a new school year, but also focuses attention on the 12th leading cause of death in New Jersey: suicide.
After a 13-year decline, the suicide rate climbed 24 percent nationwide between 1999 and 2014, most notably since 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the second leading cause of death for New Jersey residents age 25 to 34, and ranks third for children and young adults ages 10 to 24.
It’s time to reverse the trend. During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, NewBridge Services urges everyone to learn the warning signs*:
▪ Talking about wanting to die
▪ Looking for a way to kill oneself
▪ Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
▪ Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
▪ Talking about being a burden to others
▪ Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
▪ Acting anxious, agitated, or recklessly
▪ Sleeping too little or too much
▪ Withdrawing or feeling isolated
▪ Showing rage/talking about seeking revenge
▪ Displaying extreme mood swings
*From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
▪ Don’t leave him or her alone
▪ Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
▪ Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255
▪ Take the person to an emergency room/seek help from mental health professional
Most people who die by suicide had a treatable mental illness. Join the Mental Health First Aid movement, which has already trained more than 660,000 people in how to identify and respond to a person’s mental health crisis. NewBridge is offering the 8-hour MHFA training on both Sept. 27 and Sept. 29 at the NewBridge Parsippany Center. To register, contact Mary Vineis, NewBridge director of Community Response and Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-316-9333.
You can also take the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's pledge to let people know you’re comfortable talking about mental health.
On September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, join with hundreds and thousands of people to ‘Take 5 and Save Lives.’ The National Council for Suicide Prevention campaign encourages everyone to take five minutes out of their day to:
▪ Learn the warning signs
▪ Join the movement
▪ Spread the word
▪ Support a friend
▪ Reach out
Intervention can stop suicide. Together, we can save lives.
NewBridge Services, a 501c(3) nonprofit, is a premier provider of counseling services, housing and educational programs in northern New Jersey serving more than 8,500 children, adults and seniors each year. NewBridge treats mental illnesses and addictions; teaches skills for coping with stress, grief and challenging relationships; builds and manages affordable housing; offers school-based programs that teach children and adolescents resiliency skills for healthy emotional development; helps young adults succeed in their education and prepare for careers; and supports seniors so they can remain independent. Throughout its more than 50-year history, NewBridge has remained true to its mission of bringing balance to people’s lives by tracking shifts in communities’ needs and providing innovative, effective programs to meet them.