LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While it can be a difficult topic, studies show that communicating with others and knowing the warning signs can play a key role in helping prevent suicides.
According to Norton Healthcare, more than 47,000 Americans die by suicide each year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second-leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 34.
Data shows 7.9% of Kentucky youths have attempted suicide and 14.8% have seriously considered it, with 13% making a plan about how they would attempt suicide.
Suicide attempts among younger people are increasing, but it’s not clear whether teens are more willing to disclose attempts than before.
Experts say that suicides in Kentucky may possibly be linked to the opioid epidemic, poverty, lack of good mental health care or easy access to firearms and other lethal weapons.
Depression and other mental illnesses also can play an overwhelming role in most suicides. However, individuals with mental illnesses have not sought out help or received treatment.
Doctors at Norton Children’s Hospital say depression is not a passing mood and is not a condition that goes away without proper treatment.
The following warning signs provided by Norton Healthcare shows what to look out for when dealing with someone who may be at risk of suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or not having a reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden or unaccepted by others
- Increasing usage of alcohol and/or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated
- Behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from groups or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
If you or a loved one are dealing with these issues, please seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline toll-free at (800) 273-8255.