Preventing suicide: Myths, signs and asking for help

Preventing suicide: Myths, signs and asking for help

For decades suicide was a taboo subject to talk about, but recently its been the focus of television shows and made national headlines with suicides posted on social media.

It's also the reason behind new warnings about the Blue Whale Challenge.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. for people 15 to 44 is suicide.

Sweneda Berrian, a mental health therapist at Lakeview Center, said teens are the most vulnerable to committing suicide.

Berrian helps treat people dealing with different situations like depression.

She's seen a spike in people coming in to learn about suicide and suicide prevention.

She believes the topic has been glamorized recently through social media sites like Facebook and TV shows like the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why".

"If we're leaving suicide to be understood through those avenues like social media, Facebook, internet; then a lot of the information is delivered to our children inaccurately and they don't know how to process that information," Berrian said.

Berrian said it's important to understand the myths of suicide and questions people may have.

She said, "Most common myth being that if we talk about suicide it kind of plants the seed or increases the probability that someone will follow through, which is just not true."

Berrian believes those who aren't dealing with depression or any other symptom related to suicide shouldn't be triggered by images they see online.

She said teens are most likely to listen or follow the wrong information, and children pose a higher risk because they haven't learned how to deal with their emotions.

Berrian encourages parents to be vocal about the subject and to seek professional advice if they do see symptoms of suicide.

"Even if I'm not a child who is having significant suicidal ideations something like that could steer me down the wrong road," Berrian said.

If you or anyone you know is battling depression or has thoughts of suicide you're urged to call the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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