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Suicide prevention: Learn signs--and take action

Statements and habit changes are clues
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 21:25:40-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Suicides are everyday tragedies that strike people from all walks of life.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says in Arizona on average one person dies by suicide every seven hours.  Arizona’s suicide death rate ranks 17th among states. Montana ranks first.          High profile suicides like Anthony Bourdain's lead to fear that others may follow him with that fatal step

Chelle Means works with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She remembers the feelings that made her try to take her own life.   "I can only talk about myself because it's different for everyone so with myself you know I noticed I just feel heavier like it's harder to move.  It's harder to get up just to eat.  I'll be hungry but it'll feel like I'm made of concrete."       

Suicide prevention experts say if someone talks about killing themselves, seems depressed, or does things like gives away valued possessions don't hesitate to urge them to get help.  

Judy Kowalick with NAMI says her son’s mental health problems left her always on guard for signs he might take his own life.

“Talking about changing their life and doing something different plus saying, I really don’t feel like living anymore then I think it’s important to report it to a professional.”

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention publishes a guide to risk factors and warning signs.

Workers at NAMI say if someone is in imminent danger call 911, but take the extra step of requesting officers who are specially trained in coping with mental illness.  Another slightly less urgent step could be to call the Crisis Response Center at 520-622-6000.

This article outlines other places to find help.