JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. - One life does make a difference. That’s why I think it’s important to note that suicide prevention is something that should happen every day. We can all do things to help build family resiliency. When talking or spending anytime around military service members, I’ve come to understand that it’s indeed a family.
We can reduce the incidents of suicide by knowing the signs and symptoms, the myths and facts about suicide. The more we educate ourselves and others about suicide prevention, the better chances we have of helping those we love and care for in our community.
People commit suicide for a number of reasons. Many people have taken their own lives while suffering from an underlying mental illness or some type of substance abuse problem. Though, this isn’t always the case as there are millions of people who live with depression.
Awareness, prevention education and treatment can help so suicide does not become an option for anyone. Simply paying attention or having a conversation with someone about the way they feel may be all it takes. This could be with a family member, friend or a co-worker.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there are many resources available to help. Here at JBAB, the 579th Medical Group has a number of professionals available to offer help. There’s also the base chaplain and everyone at the Chapel Center. In an emergency, people can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
The following list of symptoms and warning signs should help people identify individuals or loved ones who are in need of help.
Symptoms and Warning Signs of Suicide:
Ÿ Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
Ÿ Substance use or abuse
Ÿ Purposelessness (no sense of purpose or belonging)
Ÿ Trapped (feeling like there is no way out)
Ÿ Hopelessness (there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism)
Ÿ Withdrawal from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies, etc.
Ÿ Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation)
Ÿ Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)
Ÿ Mood disturbance (dramatic changes in mood)
Additional Warning Signs of Suicide
Ÿ Looking for ways to die (internet searches on how to commit suicide)
Ÿ Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness
Ÿ Pre-occupation with death
Ÿ Loss of interest in things one cares about
Ÿ Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order
Ÿ Giving things away, such as prized possessions