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Suicide Prevention Week: Nosiness can save a life

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When a person decides to take his or her own life, experts say pain has exceeded hope.  - PHOTO CREDIT: PEF/MORGUEFILE
  • Photo Credit: pef/Morguefile
  • When a person decides to take his or her own life, experts say pain has exceeded hope.


By Mary Kuhlman


No one wants to be nosy, but it could actually save a life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 12 minutes in the U.S. someone takes his or her own life.

And a Hoosier teen dies by suicide roughly every two and a half days.

Lisa Brattain, area director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for Indiana and Ohio, says this year's Suicide Prevention Week (Sept.6-12) is aimed at creating an informed conversation about the need to reach out to those who seem troubled.

"There are many stories of people who are contemplating suicide and on the way to that plan someone asked them how their day was going, and noticed that they weren't feeling so well and offered to help," she relates. "Then those people go on to live a healthy life and never attempt again."

People contemplating suicide typically give an indication. Brattain explains it could be a change in behavior, including increased alcohol or drug use, extreme fatigue, aggression or depression.

Resources are available throughout Indiana. For immediate help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273 TALK (8255), and is open 24/7.

Of the 10 leading causes of death, Brattain notes that suicide is the only one trending upward. In Indiana there are almost four times as many suicides as homicides.

When people decide to take their own life, Brattain says their coping skills are compromised beyond the ability to reason and their pain has exceeded their hope.

"People that are suicidal are displaying feelings of hopelessness and having no reason to live, being a burden to others or feeling trapped," she points out. "And they're generally in unbearable pain and it's not a pain we can see. It's a psychological pain and it's very overwhelming. "

Every fall, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sponsors Out of the Darkness Community Walks around Indiana to raise awareness and bring together people who have experienced a suicide loss. The Indianapolis walk will be held Saturday at Celebration Plaza at White River State Park.

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