Illinois encourages education during Suicide Prevention Week - – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois encourages education during Suicide Prevention Week


With suicide fluctuating between the second and third leading cause of deaths among Illinois adolescents, the state department of public health is encouraging residents to learn more suicide and how they can prevent it.

The 39th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week runs through September 14 and September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Around the world, nearly one million people take their own lives each year and an estimated five million living Americans have attempted suicide. Within the state, suicide is the 11th leading cause of overall deaths and costs around $539 million for suicide and medically treated youth suicide attempts.

"It is essential to bring awareness to the public health threat of suicide. Suicide is preventable. It is critical to let those who are in crisis know that they are not alone, and that help is available," IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. "If you or anyone you know is considering suicide, there are resources available to help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK."

Thirteen percent of all suicides occur among people between the ages of 15 and 24 and rates are four times higher for males than they are for females. Suicide by firearm accounts for 39 percent of all suicides.

Being aware of warning signs and listening to those who are in distress can be helpful in preventing suicide. While some can occur without warning signs, eight in ten people show some signs of their intentions. The following signs can be remembered with the mnemonic "IS PATH WARM?":

  • Ideation: Expressing the idea of hurting themselves, looking for ways to harm themselves, talking or writing about death or dying
  • Substance Abuse: Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Purposelessness: Having no sense of purpose in life, feeling like they have no reason to live
  • Anxiety: Feeling anxious, agitated, and being unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Trapped: Feeling trapped and like there is no way out
  • Hopelessness: Feeling as if they have no hope or nothing to look forward to
  • Withdrawal: Withdrawing from family, friends, and society
  • Anger: Expressing rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Recklessness: Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Mood Change: Demonstrating dramatic mood changes

If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or visit

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