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National Suicide Prevention Week

This is National Suicide Prevention Week

Suicide is a community issue and major public health issue. In the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties), there were 391 suicides during 2007 for all ages.  It's important that we work together to recognize people at risk of suicide.

What can I do? 

We can all reach out - to friends, neighbors, co-workers, relatives who might be struggling!  Asking someone about suicide does not plant the idea.  This myth causes roadblocks to helping those at risk of suicide.  Asking someone directly if they are thinking about suicide in a caring manner does not cause suicide and may help a person realize it's okay to be struggling and seek help.  While there is no test to see if someone is suicidal, there are warning signs.
We should respond immediately if an individual shows the following warning signs:

The following warning signs also warrant attention, especially if in the presence of any of the above signs or other known risk factors:

By knowing these warning signs, we can be better prepared to intervene when we see a friend, co-worker, neighbor, or relative in distress.  Don't be afraid to tell your friend that you're concerned; you've been noticing changes - that something is not quite right and you're worried.  This open dialogue can help individuals feel relief, know that someone cares, maybe seek professional help, and ultimately we can help save a life.  Don't keep it a secret; get help for someone at risk.

Get Help

Anyone who is considering suicide, or knows someone who may be at risk for suicide, should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the National Lifeline number, or contact a family physician, psychiatrist, medical emergency room, or community mental health center listed in the yellow pages.  Many suicides can be prevented and we can help by being vigilant for the warning signs.

More Information

A number of groups to support individuals who have lost loved ones to suicide exist in the Bay area.

Some USF Resources for training and education about suicide.

Visit the Florida Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention

For additional information on suicide prevention efforts conducted by the Department of Child & Family Studies, contact Stephen Roggenbaum at 813-974-6149 or roggenba@usf.edu.

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