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UNDERSTANDING RISK FACTORS OF SUICIDE

Hello Wellness Warriors,

September is Suicide Awareness Month, D&G Wellness is steadfast in our commitment to spreading awareness. Throughout this month, we will share informative posts, blogs, and videos, shedding light on this critical topic.

To commence our journey, we believe it’s vital to discuss suicide risk factors. Identifying these factors can be subtle, and it’s crucial to understand that having multiple risk factors doesn’t necessarily imply current thoughts of suicide. Think of risk factors akin to physical health – your family history might include high cholesterol and heart disease, yet it doesn’t equate to you having heart disease or experiencing a heart attack. Risk factors serve as long-term indicators prompting proactive steps toward maintaining both physical and mental well-being.

Our core message underscores self-care, emotional acknowledgment, and seeking support as pivotal components in mitigating these risk factors. Consider these factors as a wakeup call to prioritize your mental health.

Recently, the CDC reported an 8% decrease in the suicide rate among individuals aged 10-24, which brings hope. However, there’s a troubling 8% increase in the suicide rate among adults. This underscores the urgency of redoubling our efforts to prevent suicide among adults through education and support.

Crucially, not everyone grappling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts exhibits apparent risk factors. Therefore, it’s imperative for everyone to routinely check on their own mental health and that of those around them.

Here are some common risk factors for suicide:

  • Mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and conduct disorder.

  • Substance use problems.

  • Serious physical health conditions, such as chronic pain or traumatic brain injury.

  • Environmental risk factors like prolonged stress (e.g., harassment, bullying, relationship problems, or unemployment), stressful life events (e.g., rejection, divorce, financial crises, life transitions, or loss), and exposure to someone else’s suicide or graphic portrayals of suicide.

  • Access to lethal means, including firearms and drugs.

  • Historical risk factors such as previous suicide attempts, a family history of suicide, and a history of childhood abuse, neglect, or trauma.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please call 988 or take them to a psychiatric emergency room for immediate care. Your actions can save lives.

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