World Suicide Prevention Day Press Release (01/09/2016)

Press Release – For Immediate Distribution

September 10, 2016 is World Suicide Prevention Day. The Association of Psychology Newfoundland and Labrador (APNL) wishes to provide the public with some facts regarding suicide, potential warning signs, and local sources of assistance.

About Suicide: (source: isap.com)

  • Every year, over 800,000 people die from suicide; this roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds.
  • The number of lives lost each year due to suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.
  • Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, accounting for 1.4% of all deaths in 2012.
  • Globally suicide rates are highest for people 70 years and over.
  • Suicide is the fifth leading causes of death among those aged 30-49 years in 2012 globally.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the 15-29 years age group in 2012 worldwide.
  • 75% of all global suicide deaths occur in low-middle income countries.
  • It is estimated that during 2012 for each adult who died of suicide there were over 20 others who made suicide attempts.
  • Suicide is complex with psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors involved.
  • The strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.
  • Mental disorders (particularly depression and alcohol use disorders) are a major risk factor for suicide in Europe and North America; however, in Asian countries impulsiveness plays an important role.
  • In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, bereavement or loss and isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behavior.
  • Suicide rates are elevated amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; indigenous peoples; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons; and prisoners.
  • Reaching out to those who may be struggling or may have become disconnected from others and offering support can be a life-saving act.

Suicide Warning Signs (source suicide.org)

  • Appearing depressed or sad most of the time (untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide)
  • Talking or writing about death or suicide
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Feeling strong anger or rage
  • Feeling hopeless or trapped – like there is no way out of situation
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Exhibiting a change in personality, sometime acting recklessly or impulsively
  • Losing interest in most activities
  • Experiencing a change in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Performing poorly at work or in school
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Writing a will
  • Feeling excessive guilt or shame

Where/How to Get Help?

  • Immediate assistance is available through the Mental Health Crisis Line (709) 737-4668/1-888-737-4668 or through your local Emergency Department
  • Psychologists can assist with Depression and Suicidal thoughts. Psychologists can be accessed through your local health care centre, via workplace Employee Assistance programs, and privately (see www.apnl.ca – click on Find a Psychologist for more details.).
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