When in doubt, reach out

Suicide awareness month

Suicide rates in the U.S. have increased more than 25 percent since 1999, and they are rising worldwide—some 1 million people die annually from suicide. By 2020, the World Health Organization predicts that someone will take his or her life every 20 seconds. These statistics are staggering, so what can you do to help? First, be aware of the warning signs. Has someone you know and love talked about feeling hopeless, trapped, like a burden to others or wanting to kill themselves? Have they begun to act agitated, withdrawn or exhibited drastic mood swings? Take note of increased alcohol or drug use, sleeping a lot or very little, or sudden interest in buying a gun. If you become concerned, there are options. You can call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your efforts may save a life.