Digital Access

Digital Access
Access kcchronicle.com and all Shaw Local content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Want to make sure you receive the latest local news? We’ve got you covered! Get the best in local news, sports, community events, with focus on what’s coming up for the weekend. Weekly mail subscription offers

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from Kane County Chronicle, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Sign up for free email alerts. We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox.
Columns

Take Action for Wellness: Empowering the community to prevent suicide, build resilience

'Most people who attempt or complete suicide don’t actually want to die'

Depression and suicide impact people no matter their status in life, so why aren’t we better educated on how to have conversations on these topics and seek the right help? So often, signs and cries for help go unrecognized or avoided. With education and willingness to shed stigmas, lives can be saved.

Our society doesn’t always support the healthy expression of emotions and thoughts, which can make it difficult to ask about real emotions. Failure to address depression and suicide has devastating costs: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, there is one death by suicide every 13 minutes. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of people ages 15 to 34, and 25 percent of teenagers in this country consider suicide, according to the QPR Institute. According to The Jason Foundation, in ninth- through 12th-grade students there are 3,470 suicide survivors every day. Most people who attempt or complete suicide don’t actually want to die, they just want the pain to stop. Preventing suicide is something we can all influence, as suicide is one of the most preventable types of death.

Sarah Lloyd is a clinically licensed professional counselor and co-founder of the Geneva-based Action Consulting and Therapy. Feedback on this column can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com

Depression doesn't discriminate; it’s up to all of us to know and recognize the signs and be as willing to intervene as we would with a physical illness. The first step: Recognize when someone is at risk. The majority of people who are considering suicide share thoughts and emotions with at least one person.  Common phrases that indicate suicidal thoughts range from the clear, “I wish I were dead” to the more vague “I just want to stop feeling this way” or “My family and friends would be better off without me.”

Untreated depression is the No. 1 risk factor in suicide and only one-third of people with depression in the U.S. are receiving treatment, according to the QPR Institute. Depression can be recognized by noticing when someone is sad, irritable, easily upset or angry, or displays low motivation for daily life activities, withdrawal from relationships and does not enjoy things previously enjoyed. The person might display changes in behavior. Also, difficult situations might lead someone to think about or attempt suicide.

If you want to help someone you think might be depressed or thinking about suicide, ask the question. Bringing up the topic of suicide will not increase the risk. This should be done immediately, in private, and allow the person to talk freely. Be persistent, even if the person is dismissive, reluctant or defensive.

If your concern is valid, persuade the person to get help and offer hope, then refer to a professional or a trusted adult. The best referral is to take the person directly to someone who can help, or to tell someone who can help. Depression is treatable in a number of ways, but it sometimes takes an observant friend or loved one to recognize the signs, seek help and support, and find hope.

Sarah Lloyd is a clinically licensed professional counselor and co-founder of the Geneva-based Action Consulting and Therapy. Feedback on this column can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com

Loading more