By Wendy Rice, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist
Believe it or not, suicidal thoughts are frequent visitors to therapy sessions. At Rice Psychology, we recognize that these thoughts typically arise when life’s stressors become too overwhelming for a person’s coping abilities. Some clients express thoughts of not wanting to be alive, thinking their family would be better off without them or having no hope for improvement in their life. While some of these statements may be vague, it is our duty to take the necessary steps to keep the person safe.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in our nation and the third leading cause of death among young people. The statistics are staggering, and they reinforce the fact that suicidal thoughts know no boundaries and can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or background.
Fortunately, there are many resources anyone can use to speak up and find the help they need. It is amazing how these scary and sad thoughts can dissipate when the person receives help to reduce their life stressors, build a support system, reframe negative thinking and perhaps introduce medication to stabilize brain chemistry. September 2015 is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which helps promote resources and awareness for suicide prevention.
Shame and stigma can prevent anyone from speaking out about their suicidal thoughts. Don’t get left in the dark. Take action against this issue today.
Let Your Voice be Heard
Suicide and suicidal thoughts can occur often and to almost anyone, but it’s important not to consider them as common or trivial situations. Sometimes people will make off-handed statements about not wanting to live or wanting to kill themselves that they may not really mean.
However, all suicidal statements should be taken seriously and require follow-up. National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month helps the public reach out to those who have been affected by a suicide by raising awareness and connecting people with suicidal tendencies to prevention services. There are several crisis and prevention services you can contact in the event of a suicidal episode. These include:
- The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which can be reached if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts
- The NAMI Help Line at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) if you’re in need of information, referrals or support
- 911 if you or someone you know is in need of emergency services
- 211 if you are located in the greater Tampa Bay area
It’s important to note that individuals can also anonymously text 741741 for support from a crisis counselor. Only 5% of teens are willing to contact a crisis line, but the majority is more inclined to text, which makes this tool very important.
Rice Psychology Group is Here to Help
While awareness is highlighted in September, it’s important for everyone to know that support is available at all times. At Rice Psychology Group, we understand that sometimes things may appear too difficult to withstand, but you don’t have to deal with issues on your own. Our Tampa-based psychologists will listen to your story and help you identify and deal with the underlying causes. We can then assist in moving beyond this very sad time. It may seem impossible, but your journey to feeling better can begin today.
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