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DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office sees spikes in suicides. Here’s how you can get help

The Crisis Center of North Alabama says one of the biggest myths surrounding suicide is that it's bad to talk about it.

Posted: Sep 27, 2019 9:39 AM
Updated: Sep 27, 2019 9:45 AM

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office on Thursday announced that it had responded to five suicides this week, including 3 in a 24-hour span and two attempted suicides.

According to the Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Alabama has consistently had higher rates of suicide compared to the national average since 1990.

In fact, it is the 11th leading cause of death in our state.

The Crisis Center of North Alabama says one of the biggest myths surrounding suicide is that it's bad to talk about it.

Volunteer Coordinator Heather Kilgore said in fact it's almost the opposite.

She said asking someone who you suspect may be suicidal is one of the best things you can do.

“Cause once someone asks them that question, they have a sense of connectedness with that person that asked and said, 'I'm so glad you asked me because I've been very burdened. I'm glad i can talk about this,” Kilgore said.

Tyler Pruett, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the office doesn’t normally do press releases on suicides, but this week’s rate being higher than normal prompted the office to speak out.

"...We would like to ask everyone to check on your friends, neighbors, and loved ones who may be having a hard time or have withdrawn from others. Letting them know that someone cares may save their life,” Pruett said.

The office wants to make sure everyone is aware of the National Hotline for Suicide Prevention. The number is 1-800-273-8255 and can be called 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information or a live chat with a counselor.

Residents of DeKalb also are encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 256-845-3801 if a loved one threatens suicide or you believe they are about to try and take their own life.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also lists the following warning signs to spot if a friend or loved may be considering suicide:

If a person talks about:

- Killing Themselves

- Feeling Hopeless

- Having no reason to live

- Being a burden to others

- Feeling trapped

- Unbearable pain

Behavior:

- Increased use of alcohol or drugs

- Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods

- Withdrawing for Activities

- Isolating from family and friends

- Sleeping too much or too little

- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

- Giving away prized possessions

- Aggression

- Fatigue

Mood:

- Depression

- Anxiety

- Loss of Interest

- Irritability

- Humiliation/Shame

- Agitation/Anger

- Relief/Sudden Improvement

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