Since the beginning of the pandemic, the National Suicide Hotline has received more calls than normal and this month is suicide prevention awareness month.
Suicide and mental illness have been stigmatized for a long time and it’s something we don’t talk about often and this month a local organization wants to end the stigma and make everyone aware of the warning signs of suicide.
“We're seeing a rise in it and have been seeing a rise in it for a long time and so to really equipped the community with resources and things that are available for them,” said Maggie Owens, Indiana Center for Prevention of Youth Abuse and Suicide.
She told me Indiana ranks pretty high nationally when it comes to suicide.
“One in five teenagers seriously have considered suicide in the past year and that was even before the beyond set of a pandemic,” said Owens.
She said there are three main factors why someone may consider suicide.
“Depression and anxiety or substance abuse any stressful life changes and then some personality disorders that would come with that so when we think about a pandemic obviously that is a stressful life change for anybody,” said Owens.
Owens said there’s no one way to know if someone is contemplating suicide because everyone expresses their feelings differently.
“I think that there are some pretty specific you know that there's an increase in alcohol or drug consumption obviously the very direct speaking about the fact that they wanted in their life for their considering that especially if there's a means that they've expressed that they have a gun they are coming to these thoughts that's obviously a huge red flag to reach out but I think it's just important to be aware of personality changes," said Owens.
She told me the best way to equip yourself to have conversations around suicide is to take a course.
“We actually offer them its called QPR, QPR stands for question persuading refer it really talks about how to ask the question if they're having suicidal thoughts persuading them to stay alive and then referring them to mental health place that is the best for them," said Owens
During the month of September, they are offering these QPR classes online and free of charge. The next course will be held virtually on September 9th. Click here for details.