Suicide Prevention 2

<p>By WVUA 23 Reporter Amanda Hull</p><p>September is <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Suicide Prevention Month</a>, and according to <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”></a>, suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States. That’s why this month is dedicated to help bring awareness to those in need.</p><p>Though not a pleasant subject, suicide is something people should never be afraid to talk about. In fact, having the conversation is exactly what we should be doing.</p><p>“For so long it has not been a good thing to talk about suicide or talk about mental illness,” said North Harbor Program Director Valerie Alford. “Our culture has got to change to where it is OK to talk about it. We talk about cancer, we talk about diabetes and high blood pressure.”</p><p>Warning signs that someone may be having suicidal thoughts include withdrawal from everyday activity, lack of conversation and a sudden change in behavior. Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center Suicide Prevention Coordinator Richard Beatty said knowing these signs are important.</p><p>“The main thing is just making sure that (you’re) aware of the warning signs,” Beatty said. “Knowing what to look for and what to listen for, and (learning) how to approach individuals who may be exhibiting some of those warning signs. (Learn) how to talk with them about that, and then how to get that person directed to the appropriate individuals to follow up with that.”</p><p>If you or someone you care about is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website, <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”></a>.</p>

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