Organizations partner to recognize September as Suicide Awareness Month

In recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) and the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) are joining efforts to enhance community awareness about suicide prevention resources.

More than 41,000 people die by suicide each year. Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts regardless of age, ethnicity or gender. Individuals with a mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder are at an increased risk of suicide.

Suicide is preventable, dispelling a common myth that if someone really wants to die by suicide, he or she will. Learn and notice the following warning signs of suicide:

• Talking, writing, or thinking about death
• Increased alcohol and drug use
• Impulsive or reckless behavior
• Social withdrawal from friends, family, and the community
• Dramatic mood swings.

The 2018 theme for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is Cure Stigma. Stigma is when someone is viewed in a negative way because they have a mental health disorder. It discourages individuals from seeking the help they need, and creates an environment of shame and fear.

OCHN and OCHD are using their social media sites and community connections to educate the public on available resources, as well as recognizing warning signs of suicide. For additional information, visit the Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force (OCYSPT) website at www.oakgov.com/suicideprevention, or visit www.oaklandchn.org and select the “Suicide Prevention Saves Lives” website banner. Find OCHN and OCHD on Facebook and Twitter for suicide prevention information and resources.