Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in collaboration with the State’s Suicide Prevention Council is recognizing National Suicide Prevention Week from September 8-14, 2013 by stressing the importance of challenging assumptions and attitudes to help improve prevention efforts.
This year’s theme is Preventing Suicide Through Changing Attitudes: The Times They Are A Changin’. “Nationally, one person commits suicide about every 14 minutes,” said NH’s Public Health Director Dr. Jose Montero. “Here in New Hampshire, it’s the fifth leading cause of death overall and the second for people between the ages 15-34. These statistics underscore the need for us to work together to change attitudes related to suicide and work to connect people with the help they need to prevent it. We know this works because our health care providers, regardless if they’re a primary care provider or a specialist, are now recognizing warning signs and are helping connect their patients with the help they need.”
Attitudes and professional cultures have been changing for the positive in the State, which is helping to reduce stigma and more people being offered help. “One example of that is a program that DHHS, Easter Seals and the New Hampshire National Guard have been working together on called the Deployment Cycle Support Program,” said DHHS Associate Commissioner Nancy Rollins. “The program, being implemented statewide, is offered to our military personnel. It provides comprehensive care coordination to our military, helping them to access mental health services and other supports. Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain they are experiencing. Recognizing this pain early can lead to saving lives. There are services and programs available in the State for the assessment of suicidal behaviors and their underlying causes.”
Everyone can help in suicide prevention. Warning signs include:
- Talking about death or suicide
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
- Mood changes
Recognize these signs and connect the person to help. If you or someone you know is in crisis or emotional distress, you can call the Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The line is available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.
For more information on suicide prevention, visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at www.sprc.org or the National Alliance for Mentally Ill New Hampshire at www.naminh.org/education/suicide-prevention or BBH www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bbh/contact.htm.