Letter: Be aware of signs of suicide

September is known as suicide prevention and awareness month which helps promote resources and awareness around the issue of suicide.

Last year in Allen County there were 18 suicides. We discuss how you can help and ways to talk about it. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions that affect people when they are the most vulnerable. Suicidal thoughts and suicide can indicate more serious issues.

In many cases individuals, family and friends affected by suicide are left in the dark, feeling shame or stigma that prevents talking openly about suicide. Know the warning signs:

• Threats or comments about killing themselves.

• Stating I wish I wasn’t here.

• Social withdrawal from family, friends or community.

• Dramatic mood swings.

• Impulsive reckless behavior, increased alcohol or drug use.

Research has found that 90 percent of individuals that die by suicide experience mental health problems. Other things that put persons at risk are family history of suicide, being under the influence of alcohol and drugs, access to firearms, isolation or long periods of stress.

Suicide can be prevented. Mental health professionals are trained to help persons with their feelings. This can be done by psychotherapy and/or medication. Help is available in our community. We have a 24/7 Hope Line number 800-567-4673 and a 24/7 We Care Crisis Center located at 799 South Main Street. We will be having our 11th annual suicide prevention and awareness walk at 10 a.m., Sept. 16, at Trinity Park at the corner of Pierce and Market Street, Lima

Mary Jane Mullenhour, Delphos