Missouri suicide prevention officials are taking advantage of National Suicide Prevention Week to help spread the word that action can be taken to stop these unnecessary deaths.
Scott Perkins, Director of the Missouri Suicide Prevention Project with the State Department of Mental Health, says it is important for Missourians to be aware that suicide is preventable.
"There are things people can do and there is available training for people that want to learn about the suicide warning signs and what to do in that situation," said Perkins in an interview with the Missourinet. "There’s also a Suicide Prevention Hotline – people can get connected to crisis centers in their area and they’ll get help."
There are several warning signs coming from people contemplating suicide, especially when the person is lonely, has gone through a marriage or relationship break-up, or has lost a job. Perkins says the best thing a friend or colleague can do is be available to listen.
"Just honestly be there and be able to listen to them and let them kind of talk it out – that’s a big help for a lot of people."
Perkins acknowledges this will not be enough for all people as some will need counselling, but it at least lets a potential suicide know he or she is not alone.
"The worst thing that could happen if you ask somebody if they’re thinking of suicide is just for them to say ‘No,’" said Perkins. "But at least they know that you’re willing to talk to them about it if they were ever in that situation."
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).