Suicide Prevention is a primary focus for PEMHS. Suicide is now the 11th leading cause of death for all Americans, but suicide is the 3rd cause of death for young people aged 15-24 (National Center for Health Statistics). Suicide is a serious public mental health challenge. Research has shown, however, that suicide prevention and early intervention efforts are successful. With our Crisis Stabilization Units, Suicide Survivor Support Groups and our partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, PEMHS has become one of the leaders in Suicide Prevention for Pinellas County.
Suicide Warning Signs
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself.
- Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means.
- Talkling or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary
- Feeling Hopeless.
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities- seemingly without thinking.
- Feeling trapped- like there's no way out.
- Increasing alcohol or drug use.
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and society.
- Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose.
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
What You Can Do
A suicidal person should never be left alone. If someone you know tells you they are thinking about suicide you should take this seriously. Limit the persons access to firearms, medication or other lethal methods. Listen to what they have to say and help get them to a professional. People consider suicide when they feel hopeless and are unable to see solutions to the distress in their life.
Here is a Wellness Plan to help you cope in times of distress.
Know Yourself. When stress levels build you could end up in crisis. When this happens you may think/feel/act differently than usual. You may experience sad/irritable mood, anxiety, difficulty sleeping/sleep too much, frequent headaches, poor appetite, aggression, isolating, crying spells, or whatever changes personal to you. These are your warning signs.
Reach out for Help & Support. You are not alone & you should not suffer silently. People who reach out for help & support find their way back to wellness faster & more often than those who don't. Reach out to family/friends as well as to community members and helping professionals in your area, (see Community Resources on the back).
The Key to Wellness. Getting well & staying well requires practice. If you decide to become an active participant in your wellness you will be the one reaping the benefits for years to come. Here are some wellness tips you may want to try:
1) Reduce stress. Avoid stressful situations as much as possible. When you can't, practicing a relaxation technique for just 2 - 3 minutes when you feel stress can help center you. What you can do: Take 10 – while focusing only on your breathing, take a deep breath in, hold for 3, exhale all the way, hold for 3, repeat 9 times. Visualize – close your eyes. See a beautiful, peaceful place in your mind. Experience yourself being there; really see, taste, smell, feel, what it's like being there. Stay as long as you like.
2) Know your warning signs. By recognizing your warnings signs early you can stay one step ahead in avoiding a crisis.
3) Coping strategies. To combat your warning signs distract yourself with an activity & replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Doing something special just for you can help lift your spirits, whether that's taking a warm bubble bath, watching your favorite comedy show, or taking a walk in the park to enjoy the beauty of nature.
4) Connect with others. Connecting with others increases feelings of emotional wellness & belonging. Whether you have many friends or a few, making new connections by joining a club, volunteering, attending a place of worship if you belong to a certain faith, or joining a support group of your choice can always improve your emotional health & wellbeing.
Providing Care in Crisis
Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS) has been committed to providing care in crisis since 1981. Our dedicated staff and comprehensive range of programs are designed to meet the needs of children, adults and families with the goal of building strong communities.
If you or someone you know
is thinking about suicide
call for IMMEDIATE HELP
24-Hour Suicide Hotline
24-Hour Mental Health Assistance
Some callers may be eligible to participate in
PEMHS Lifeline Follow Up Service
The primary purpose of PEMHS Lifeline Follow Up Service is to reduce suicide risks by providing systematic follow up of suicidal persons who call PEMHS Suicide Hotline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. As the program encourages linkage and connectivity to essential support services, suicidal persons' wellness and recovery should continue long after their participation in the program.