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Suicide does not have a single cause. Substance abuse and untreated depression lead to higher risk of suicide. Having a strong circle and a good support network can help prevent suicide. It is a very complex issue that requires the collaboration of healthcare workers, individuals and their families, treatment services and loved ones.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), suicide is the tenth highest cause of death in the United States for all ages. Approximately 105 people die by suicide daily, and suicide takes the lives of 38,000 Americans a year. The highest rates of suicide among Americans are in Whites, Native Americans, and Alaskan Natives. There is 1 successful suicide for every 25 suicide attempts, and that increases to 1 successful suicide for every 4 attempts in the elderly. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) states that only half of people experiencing a major depressive episode receive treatment.
According to the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, there are warning signs to look out for: talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself, about feeling hopeless or having no purpose, feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain or worrying about being a burden to others. Other things to watch for are increased substance use, withdrawing, extreme mood swings, sleep changes and recklessness. These are all acute signs. If you observe these signs in yourself or someone else, you should seek help. You can call 911 or go to the hospital. You can also call Lifeline (USA) at 800-273-8255 OR Text SIGNS to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling. There are many other crisis lines available.
Resources at UW-Parkside
According to the UW-Parkside website, free personal counseling services and referrals are available to all UW-Parkside students. These services are performed by licensed personnel and meet federal guidelines. There is both individual and group counseling available for a wide variety of things.
These services are free and confidential, and this means the information will not and cannot legally be shared without your written permission. You can call to set up a counseling session at (262) 595-2366. If you have an emergency, you may call the UW-Parkside police at (262) 595-2911.
If you or someone you know are feeling suicidal or depressed, please seek help. There is hope. According to the TAPS study, 80-90 % of Americans who seek treatment for their depression can treat it successfully using therapy and/or medication. In the words of Phil Donahue remember that, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”