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You are not alone.

If you or a loved one needs help, please call or text (text available Monday – Friday noon to 10 pm) the Suicide Prevention Hotline:

614.221.5445

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If you suspect that a loved one is contemplating suicide, there are some things that you should know:

  • Talk to your teen often about their feelings, values, and ideas.
  • Practice active listening by validating your child’s feelings and asking clarifying questions to better understand the situation. The expression of suicidal thoughts should always be taken seriously.
  • Keep all conversations open and honest. Create a safe space with your kids so they feel comfortable coming to you if they start to have concerning thoughts.
  • Regularly tell your teen what you love about her/his personality.
  • Show interest in your child’s everyday life, talking about their highs and lows.
  • Encourage your teen to be active. Exercise releases endorphins, hormones that are linked to improving one’s mood and easing pain.
  • Make sure your teen knows about helplines that they can call or text for immediate anonymous support.
  • Consult a mental health professional. Learn more about Youth Mental Health providers in our System of Care.
  • Listen for red flag phrases, such as:
    • “Nothing really matters.”
    • “Sometimes I wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up.”
    • “No one really cares about me, anyway.”
    • “People would be better off without me.”
    • “I wonder who would come to my funeral if I died.”
  • Let your teen know he/she is not alone. Make sure they know you will be right there with them no matter what and will help them through counseling or treatment if they need it.
  • If you suspect your child might be having suicidal thoughts, it is extremely important to keep firearms, alcohol, and medications securely locked away.

An average of 8 percent of American teens attempt suicide each year, according to the CDC.

Listed below, in no particular order, are a few examples of suicide warning signs. Please note, all of the warning signs do not have to be present at once. However, if you notice a combination of any or all of these signs, take note as the person may be at risk.

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Experiencing problems with an intimate partner
  • Having experienced a friend’s or relative’s suicide
  • Looking for a way/means to kill himself or herself
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Talking about feeling hopeless, having no purpose and/or wanting to die
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Acting anxious/agitated
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Decreased concern about personal hygiene
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Withdrawing from others or feeling isolated
  • Changing diet, including a lack of appetite
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

It is important to provide support for a person experiencing signs of suicide until professional help is available. Listed below are a few tips on how to help.

  • Make sure the person is not left alone unless they pose a threat to the safety of others
  • Listen carefully to what the person has to say
  • Do not be judgmental, argue with the person, or agree to keep their feelings a secret
  • Call the the local Suicide Prevention Hotline at 614.221.5445 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 for help
  • In cases of emergency, call 911 for assistance
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
Source: Mental Health First Aid USA and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  • In January of 2020 alone, Franklin County lost 20 individuals to suicide.
  • For every 100,000 persons in Franklin County, 11.7 will complete suicide. This is higher than the national average of 11.5 completed suicides per every 100,000 persons.
  • In Ohio, males age 85+ have the highest suicide rate at 41.9 per 100,000. In comparison, the suicide rate among women was highest among those aged 45-54 at 9.4 per 100,000.
  • Suicide rates for white, non-Hispanic males in Ohio were four times higher than that of white, non-Hispanic females and two times higher than rates for black, non-Hispanic males.
  • 30% of Ohio suicide victims had evidence of an intimate partner problem at the time of death.
  • Nearly half of all Ohio suicide victims were diagnosed with a mental health issue.
Source: Ohio Department of Health – Ohio Violent Death Reporting System (OH-VDRS) – Injury Data Highlight: Suicides in Ohio, 2012
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