Mental health organizations share useful resources during National Suicide Prevention Month

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – September is National Suicide Prevention Month. The designation began in 2008 with the aim of de-stigmatizing conversations on this issue.

Sandra Brazil-Hamilton, of the National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMI) in Tyler, said suicide was a big concern for east Texas.

“Sadly, right here in East Texas, we have the sad rating of being the highest suicide rate in Texas,” Brazil-Hamilton said.

According to the CDC, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the reason for nearly 48,000 deaths in 2019.

Tammy Weppelman, suicide prevention coordinator for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, said suicide is more common among men than women.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 24, but suicide affects everyone, of all ages, races and genders,” Weppelman said.

Behavior changes are common signs to watch out for in a person who may be suicidal. This means that a person may sleep more than usual, not get enough sleep at night, or experience noticeable changes in appetite.

“One of the first things we look for is when people start to feel sick, not well, they want to isolate themselves and they don’t want to do what they used to do anymore. They no longer appreciate what they were doing. They have no interest in the things they’ve done at any given time. They are moving away from their friends, ”said Brazil-Hamilton.

If someone is withdrawing from their friends and family, that could also be an important sign.

“One (sign) that not many people realize is a sudden change in mood. It could be someone who is suddenly sad and depressed or someone who is sad and depressed and suddenly has a higher mood than before, ”Weppelman said.

It is important that people are aware of the signs and are willing to talk about suicide. Sometimes knowing what to watch out for can save someone’s life.

“Reach out to someone because life is precious and people are precious,” Brazil-Hamilton said.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the following centers.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or use the Lifeline Crisis Online Chat.

You can also connect 24/7 to a crisis counselor by texting the crisis text line. Text HOME to 741741.

You can call the National Alliance for Mental Health helpline at 800-950-NAMI Or in case of crisis, send “NAMI” to 741741.

For more information on mental illness, click here.

To find behavioral health treatment services, click here.

You can also find a therapist advisor by clicking on here.

Find a support group, here or search for therapy online by clicking here.


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