ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The 14 Annual Suicide Awareness Banquet was held earlier this evening with this years theme being ‘Suicide: One of Addiction’s Hidden Risks.’
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board’s Suicide Prevention Coalitions from Coshocton, Guernsey, Morgan, Muskingum, and Perry counties hosted the event and brought in Mark Hurst M.D. the Medical Director for Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Hurst spoke of the connection between addiction and suicide and how people can help possible victims by reaching out and encouraging them to seek help.
“The wrong thing to do is to bury it,” Hurst said. “There is stigma with mental illness in general and there is even more stigma with suicide. We need to be more open about it. It’s a tragic death it’s not anybody’s fault when it happens, but we need to learn from it and try to have fewer people die from this preventable cause.
Hurst made a point that people should know the warning signs of suicide.
Talking about wanting to die.
Looking for a way to kill oneself.
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose.
Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain.
Talking about being a burden to others.
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless.
Sleeping too little or too much.
Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
Displaying extreme mood swings.
“So when we see signs that are concerning to us in our friends, our relatives, our co-workers we shouldn’t hesitate to ask them about that,” Hurst said. “Being concerned, being caring, asking about it is really important and if you’d like further abilities to deal with those kind of situations. There are training’s that are available.
In Muskingum County the is Mental Health First Aid who can train people to recognize the signs and act upon their teachings, all you have to do is going to mentalhealthfirstaid.org. You can also text 4hope to the crisis text line by dialing 741741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.