September is suicide prevention month. In 2016, the most recent year with statistics available, suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for Kansas kids ages 5-14, and the second leading cause of death for ages 15-24 (Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 2016).
It is important to know the warning signs of potential suicide and to act on those warning signs. Studies have shown that when someone attempts to kill themselves, it is usually based on an acute, temporary crisis and if you can act to restrict access to the means to carry out the attempt, suicidal feelings will subside. Having ready access to a means of carrying out a suicide, especially firearms, increases the chance that a suicidal person will go through with their plan (Kansas Suicide Prevention Center, 2018).
The National Suicide Prevention Resource Center has a free online training to help individuals develop a safety plan for those with suicidal thoughts. The training is at this link.
The Kansas Suicide Prevention website: http://www.kansassuicideprevention.org/ has wonderful resources available, including an online chat system that operates Tuesday – Saturday, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
They also have a suicide hotline number available 24/7, 785-841-2345. Many people prefer texting as a means of communication, and there is now a national crisis text system as well. To utilize the 24/7 text crisis line text Home to 741741 (Crisis Text Line, 2018).
Crisis Text Line. (2018). Crisis Text Line. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.crisistextline.org/
Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (2016). Leading Causes of Death by Age Group Kansas, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.kdheks.gov/phi/AS_Tables/AS_2016_Tables_and_Figures/general_mortality/Figure_E4.pdf
Kansas Suicide Prevention Center. (2018). Safety Planning. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from http://www.kansassuicideprevention.org/safety-planning/