Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Watch for Suicidal Warning Signals and Take Right Action

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Watch for Suicidal Warning Signals and Take Right Action

Article excerpt

With heaviness in our hearts, we learn that yet another Evansville area family has been touched by the tragedy of loss by suicide. This is a painful event in the life of a family, a school, and a community. While emotions run high, we find safe harbor in the company of friends, caregivers, and others who can provide support or who know what it's like to walk in these shoes. Unfortunately, many have been touched by this loss.

Statistics indicate that every death by suicide leaves behind at least six heartbroken survivors. This is probably a conservative estimate.

There are many steps to walking through the grieving process: shock, anger, grief, sadness, and pain. Death by suicide is complicated by feelings of guilt, shame, and trauma. Lingering thoughts about the reason can leave difficultto-heal wounds.

In the time following a loss, it is important to reach out and care for those who are close survivors. It's also important to prevent future suicides.

Dr. Paul Quinnett is the author of a prevention program called QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer. Youth First, Inc. delivers this program in many area schools.

Quinnett notes that suicidal thoughts are common. Most people who are contemplating suicide will do so for many days, weeks, or even years before deciding to act.

A key piece of prevention is to help people talk it out. We once believed that sharing information about suicide could cause someone to be suicidal. This is a myth. In reality, talking provides an outlet for people in distress and reinforces the idea that it is good to talk with others rather than act on destructive feelings.

The QPR program helps individuals recognize warning signs, initiate a conversation, and guide a troubled friend to get help from a professional.

The warning signs include people who are:

Threatening to hurt or kill themselves

Preoccupied with death and dying

Feeling hopeless and helpless to change life stressors

Feeling trapped, like there's no way out

Seeing no reason or purpose in life

Talking about death directly or indirectly

Experiencing rejection, loss of a job, or loss of freedom

Purchasing a gun, stockpiling pills, and making a will There are many myths about suicide. …

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