BOLINGBROOK, Ill. – In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, state Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, is highlighting resources available for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
“Suicide does not discriminate and people from any background regardless of age, gender, income, or race can be at risk for suicide,” Avelar said. “By recognizing the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, each of us can take action to provide support and direct help to those who need it in order to save lives.”
Avelar is recognizing World Suicide Prevention Day, which takes place annually on Sept. 10 as a way to raise awareness of suicide and highlight available resources for prevention of suicide. Nearly 50,000 people die by suicide annually in the United States and it is one of the 10 leading causes of death across the country according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Risk factors include depression, exposure to trauma, including the suicide of others, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. Warning signs that someone is at risk of attempting suicide include thoughts of hopelessness, feeling trapped in physical or emotional pain, feeling like a burden to others, and social withdrawal. A full list of risk factors and warning signs is available from the NIMH at nimh.nih.gov/suicideprevention.
If someone is at imminent risk of suicide, call 911 to connect to local emergency assistance. For others who are experiencing emotional distress and at risk for suicide, the following resources are available 24 hours per day at no cost to users:
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available by calling 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), in Spanish at 1-888-628-9454, for the deaf and hard of hearing by dialing 711 then 1-800-273-8255 or online at org/chat.
- The Crisis Text Line is also available for text-based mental health support and crisis intervention by texting 741741.
- The Veterans Crisis Line provides veterans-focused care by calling 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and pressing 1, texting 838255 or visiting net/chat.
- Call 4 Calm allows residents to speak anonymously with a mental health professional and be linked to a local counselor by texting “TALK” to 552020 or “HABLAR” for service in Spanish.
“We have the power to prevent suicide and save lives by recognizing the warning signs of suicide, being empathic and caring, and helping directly connect those at risk to mental health professionals,” Avelar said. “This World Suicide Prevention Day, I encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with suicide prevention resources and to look out for their friends, family and colleagues.”