In recent months, area families, students and schools have been affected by suicide. The Parker Police Department would like to provide tips to help spot suicide warning signs and how to get help for yourself or your loved one. Warning signs that someone may be thinking of suicide can include:
• Talking about death or suicide
• Feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless
• Not enjoying things one usually enjoys
• Feeling tired or sleeping all the time
• Not having an appetite or overeating
• Unusual neglect of personal appearance
• Excessive crying or being angry
• Having difficulty concentrating
• Giving away possessions and personal items
• Using drugs or alcohol
• Withdrawing from friends and family and increasing social isolation
• Sudden increase in self-destructive behavior
• A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed
Children and adolescents are a special population at risk for suicide and they face additional risk factors. These can include bullying, relationship problems, parents not getting along, anger at or wanting to “pay back” parents when they are mad at them and a hostile social or school environment, as well as the fact that other kids they know may have committed suicide.
If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, talk to them openly about their thoughts and feelings. Take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide – it is a cry for help. If you are concerned about somebody, seek professional help immediately. You can play a role in suicide prevention by pointing out the alternatives, showing that you care and getting a doctor or psychologist involved.
National suicide hotlines are available 24/7 and you are encouraged to call if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or know someone that may be considering suicide. The National Hopeline Network can be reached at 1.800.SUICIDE (800.784.2433) and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255). If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.