MONTCLAIR, NJ – Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, according to the World Health Organization.  

In 2014, Sept. 8-14 is designated as Suicide Prevention Week and many counselors in schools across the nation plan activities for students designed to bring awareness and assistance to students at risk.

Each year, over 800,000 people commit suicide, which is the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 15 and 29. For each reported suicide death, it has been estimated that at least 20 more have made unsuccessful attempts.

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Dr. Julie Kidangan, D.O., who practices Family Medicine with Mountainside Medical Group, said in a recent article, "Since the recent tragic passing of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams, there has been significant discussion about depression. How could someone with so much talent and wealth succumb to depression?"

Kidangan added, "The reality is, millions of people from all different types of backgrounds suffer from depression. Statistics indicate that an estimated 121 million people around the world suffer from some form of depression.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffer from depression at any given time."

The website www.suicidology.org has compiled a list of suicide indicators. A person at risk for suicidal behavior most often will show the following:

Warning Signs of Acute Risk:
                Threatening to hurt or kill him or herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself; and or,
                Looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; and/or,
                Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.

These might be remembered as expressed or communicated ideation.  If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling the New Jersey suicide hopeline at 1-855-654-6735.

Additional Warning Signs:

  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
  • Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional. Other NJ resources are below: