Loss, Change & Grief
Recognizing the Risk for Suicide
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
Recognizing the Risk for Suicide

Suicide Background Information

The numbers of people choosing to take their own lives is increasing. By some estimates a person tries to take their life every 39 seconds. Suicide is not limited to a single age group, racial group, or socioeconomic class.
Currently, among the 15- to 19-year olds, suicide is the second leading cause of death (following accidents). The suicide rate has tripled over the last 30 years in this age group.
The elderly (often following the death of their spouse, or favorite pet) are another large group very much at risk. The evidence is overwhelming, those who talk about suicide may truly be considering it. Take it seriously!
Seek Professional advice immediately. Talk to a Counselor, a Teacher, a Physician.
The important part is for those suffering from depression, friends and family to be able to recognize the warning signs and get help, or help the person exhibiting the signs to get help!

Suicide Warning Signs
Learn to Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Depression
What we call the secret of happiness   
is no more a secret  
than our willingness to choose life!
Leo Buscaglia
By educating the general public to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, and warning signs of suicide, then those afflicted with depression, those contemplating suicide may be able to get professional help and treatment sooner. The depressed will be able to start working to shift their views and realize that there are things worth living for, so instead of wanting to choose death they want to choose life.

Signs and Symptoms
Do you, or anyone you know have any of the following signs?

Copyright 1996 Pfizer Inc.

Listening to the "Cry for Help"

There have been several instances when I thought friends or colleagues were in trouble where what they were telling me sounded like a strong "Cry for Help," whether a message on an answering machine, or a letter written out of depression and sent.  On these occasions I have made several frantic phone calls to try and find them, make sure they were all right. I usually was not able to reach the person specifically, but contacted someone who was also alerted and then able to get in touch with the person. Fortunately, in each of these instances, the outcome has been a good one. Friends asked me if I thought I was over reacting. "Didn't I know they weren't going to really do themselves any harm?" I will continue to "over react" rather than possibly let a friend down.

The stakes are too high to make that kind of mistake. I have treated many overdose cases in the emergency department, and intensive care unit, pumping stomachs after a drug overdose, treating with 17 doses of Tylenol antidote, or monitoring for cardiac arrhythmias after barbiturate overdoses.  I was left wondering was their "Cry for help" noticed. Also you never know for sure what was going through that person's head. You never know that you might be the only person who hears their "Cry for Help." Perhaps the compassion, knowing that someone cares is enough to convince them that live is worth living.

Believe that life is worth living 
and your belief
will help create the fact. 
William James

If you are feeling like harming yourself or someone else, or are feeling depressed, helpless or hopeless, Call 911, your local suicide hot-line, or Crisis Intervention line, located in the Yellow Pages, or contact the Samaritans via e-mail at:

Call someone--a friend, or family member, your clergy or physician. Look in the Yellow pages under Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists, if you feel you may need immediate professional assistance.

If you or anyone you know seems to be experiencing depression, consider taking one of the quizzes on the other depression pages, Self Assessment Quiz or  Wakefield Questionnaire and contact your health care provider, counselor, clergy member or social worker and get the help you need.

Last updated October 5, 1999
All material, unless otherwise specified, is copyrighted 1997-9 by Journey of Hearts A Healing Place in CyberSpace. We invite you to share the information on this site with others who may benefit, but ask that you share from the heart only and not for profit.
To contact the Domain Designer email to email@kirstimd.com  To return to home page.