Friday, September 7, 2018

Suicide Prevention

September 9-15 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Although there is no specific cause for suicide, it is important to know that we can all play a role in preventing suicide by knowing the facts, warning signs, and how to help someone at risk.

What you should know

  • Suicide rates increased in almost every state from 1999 to 2016
  • Oklahoma has the eighth highest rate of suicide in the U.S.
  • More than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition
  • On average, one person dies by suicide every 11 hours in the state of Oklahoma
  • More than twice as many people die by suicide in Oklahoma annually than by homicide
  • Norman, Moore and Oklahoma City saw a combined 127 suicides in 2017

What to look for

Some of the warning signs include:

  • Feeling like a burden
  • Being isolated
  • Increased anxiety
  • Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Increased substance use
  • Looking for a way to access lethal means
  • Increased anger or rage
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Expressing hopelessness
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Talking or posting about wanting to die
  • Making plans for suicide

How to help someone at risk

  • Ask
  • Keep them safe
  • Be there
  • Help them connect
  • Follow up

If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We’re here to help, too. Norman Regional Behavioral Medicine's staff of caring professionals is here to help. Norman Regional has an inpatient psychiatric unit at Norman Regional Hospital, 901 N. Porter Ave. in Norman. Call 405-307-5555 for 24-hour information and referrals.

Norman Regional Senior Counseling Center provides outpatient-counseling services designed specifically for senior adults at Norman Regional Moore, 700 S. Telephone Rd., Suite 301, in Moore. Transportation is provided within a 35-mile radius. If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, simply call 405-912-3495. A screening will be provided at your convenience in the comfort of your home. Medicare is accepted.


Centers for Disease Control

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention