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Suicide Awareness Month

September begins suicide awareness month, with national suicide prevention week beginning today through September 11.

Posted: Sep 5, 2021 3:40 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2021 10:24 AM

Lafayette,LA - The suicide death rate in Louisiana is greater than the national average. It is the 11th leading cause of death in Louisiana and the 2nd leading cause for 10-24-year-olds.

"Society has placed so much stigma and shame on suicide that people are scared to say that i am hurting, that i'm scared.", says Suicide Prevention Coordinator Brittany Williams.

As a person trying to help someone that's possibly suicidal, you should go in with a non-judgment attitude. Suicide prevention coordinator Brittany Williams says to meet them with a compassionate and genuine want to help. "All you need to do is bring up the things that are concerning you and just listen, let that person talk.  Let them tell their story and let them get out what they have been holding in."

Warning signs of suicide can be anything from isolation, withdrawals, depression or an anger increase, but real-life circumstances can be a factor as well. "Sometimes situations can push people in that area.  So it's not always those behavioral signs we may look for, sometimes just seeing the change in people when given situations happen."

Williams says before addressing a person that may be suicidal its best to make sure that you have a great support system for yourself. "You may gently want to say hey this is such and such we work better together, and I think we as a group can figure out what it is that you need to keep you here."

Remember that when people seek treatment or counseling, it's a must that they can find somewhere they feel welcomed and safe when they go. "We have to have valid resources, we have to make sure that these people won't fall through the gaps. People says okay maybe counseling or help or advice is not bad."

If you need to speak with someone right now or someone you know, the national suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-talk. For Lafayette residents the Family Tree Information, Education & Counseling Centerfree virtual community is holding a question, persuade, refer suicide gatekeeper training where attendees will learn three simple steps to prevent suicide. They will be held tomorrow from 6pm-7:30 pm and Tuesday from 12pm-1:30pm. For more information on the link to the virtual training, you can visit their website at www.acadianafamilytree.org.

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