This Toolbox Talk, developed by GBCA, the Building Trades Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania & Vicinity, and the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters in support of 2021’s National Prevention Week (May 9-15), provides resources to help prevent suicide.
National Prevention Week provides tools to promote substance abuse prevention and positive mental health. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a handout (includes Sign-In Sheet).
Every year thousands of individuals die by suicide. Suicide is considered by the Center for Disease Control a large and growing public health problem as it is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. While suicidal thoughts do not have one single cause, they are often the result of an untreated mental health condition. It is important to understand the warning signs and risk factors of suicide so that we can play a role in supporting others in crisis.
What Are the Warning Signs?
Warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide. If your loved one exhibits any of the signs below it is time to seek help:
- Wanting to die
- Great guilt and shame
- Feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
- Being a burden to others
- Saying goodbye
- Empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
- Extremely sad, more anxious, or agitated
- Unbearable emotional and/or physical pain
- Making a plan or researching ways to die
- Taking dangerous risks or acting reckless
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Giving away important items
What Are the Risk Factors?
Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide. Rather, they are characteristics that make it more likely that an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide. It is important to be aware of these risk factors when supporting others:
- Mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Previous suicide attempt or family history of suicide
- History of trauma
- Major physical or chronic illnesses
- Recent job or financial loss
- Recent loss of relationship
- Easy access to lethal means
What Can You Do?
By promoting resilience and connection with others during a mental health emergency, you can help lessen the likelihood of suicidal behaviors. If you or a loved one are considering suicide, establish protective factors by taking the actions below:
- Ask about suicidal thoughts and feelings.
- Take any suicidal threats seriously.
- Listen, be accepting, and don’t judge.
- Encourage the person to seek professional help.
- Remove potentially dangerous items from the person’s home, if possible.
- Do not leave a person you are concerned about being at imminent risk of suicide alone.
- Access help immediately.
If you need help or know someone who does, support and assistance are available!
Call your insurance provider to discuss your treatment options and to connect with a trained clinician today.
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