Intermountain Health experts say what to look for and how you can help if you are concerned for yourself or a loved one
(PRUnderground) September 14th, 2023
Suicide impacts everyone, whether a person has had suicidal thoughts themselves or they have suffered the loss of a friend or loved one. September is Suicide Prevention Month, and Intermountain Health wants to help everyone know what to look for and enable people with resources that can help.
Know the warnings signs
While sometimes subtle, knowing the warning signs can help identify a friend or family member – or even yourself – in need. These warning signs may include:
- Increased alcohol and drug use.
- Aggressive behavior.
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and the community.
- Dramatic mood swings.
- Impulsive or reckless behavior.
- Giving away possessions.
- Collecting and saving pills.
- Buying a weapon.
Experts say it is important to check-in with yourself or others and be aware of how you are feeling. Ask questions like, “Have you had thoughts of ending your life?” Asking does not make someone more likely to attempt suicide – and it may actually save their life.
“It can feel uncomfortable or even intrusive to ask someone how they’re doing or if they’ve considered taking their own life,” said Kristy Jones, director of community health at Intermountain Health. “However, by asking the question, we show our family members, friends, and coworkers that we care for them, we see they’re struggling, and we want to support them. These conversations can be the difference between life and loss.”
Help yourself and others
If you notice warnings signs in yourself or others or if someone tells you that they have experienced suicidal thoughts, you can help. National, local, and Intermountain Health-specific resources help address and alleviate the risks of suicide.
“Sometimes, we experience so much pain, stress, or loss that it leads to thoughts of suicide,” said Kimberly Myers, behavioral health program manager at Intermountain Health. “There are many ways to cope with thoughts of suicide without acting on them. This may include calling a crisis line, using coping skills like exercise or relaxation techniques, reaching out to a friend or loved one, finding a distraction, or seeking care immediately.”
If someone is in immediate danger or is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the suicide hotline at 988, or call 911.
Intermountain Health has continued to build on the local hotline resource in response to growing behavioral health needs in communities throughout the state. This includes Intermountain’s Connect Care/Behavioral Health Hotline – the telehealth option for anyone in the state to use.
The Intermountain Behavioral Health Navigation Line, which originally started as a support line during the COVID-19 pandemic, gives Utahns a free resource to talk to someone about behavioral health concerns from low-risk stressors to more complex issues, such as crisis and serious mental health needs. Behavioral health counselors who answer the line can refer people to a variety of resources if there are needs for long-term help.
If you would like to learn more about behavioral health services or need more resources, visit intermountainhealth.org/behavioralhealth.
If someone is in danger of hurting themselves, contact the National Suicide Lifeline at #988.
About Intermountain Health
Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news.
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Original Press Release.