MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - September is National Suicide Prevention Month. The theme of this year’s month is “Be The 1 To.”
The purpose of National Suicide Prevention Month is to spread the word about the actions that can be taken to prevent suicide in our communities.
“One of the actions is ask. You can ask the individual are they feeling suicidal, are you having suicidal thoughts? Keep them safe. That includes putting gun locks on their guns or locking up those prescriptions in the medicine cabinets," Maegan Ford, the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), said.
According to the ADPH, worldwide, approximately one million people die by suicide every year.
In the United States, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death. That’s why it’s important to know the signs.
“Some of the signs include withdrawal, depression or anxiety, reckless behavior, loss of interest, neglect of personal appearance, substance abuse or giving away some of their belongings," Ford said.
In Alabama, the state ranks 24th in the nation in suicide deaths. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average, every ten hours, one person dies by suicide in the state.
“Help them stay connected, whether it’s with their peers, their family or their friends. Following up with them on a daily basis is very important. Also, most importantly, learn more. Learn more about suicide in general,” Ford said.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, seek help immediately, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.