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Monday, April 13, 2009

Survival Health–The Government Gives Warnings Against Suicide

I’ve touched on the subject of suicide once before in this blog, and now our government has decided to address the subject with a web page and hotline. Click here for the web page. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The Department of Health and Human Services entitled this guide, “Getting Through Tough Economic Times.” In a nutshell, the guide offers tips on “how to deal with the effects financial difficulties can have on your physical and mental health.” One of the negative effects of our economic downturn is suicide, and they offer signs to look for when someone becomes suicidal. Those suffering from such things as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or substance abuse are at greater risk.

Let’s face it. Economic pressures can change one’s perspective and strain relationships as well as wallets. Coping can be difficult. The government’s site encourages stress management, staying connected with others, and getting exercise. Don’t be afraid to seek help from medical and mental health professionals. Community organizations are encouraged to provide support for those who need it in these difficult times.

Suicide warning signs include:

* Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself

* Looking for ways to kill oneself

* Thinking or fantasizing about suicide

* Acting recklessly

* Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

If someone you know is encountering these problems, the site suggests getting immediate help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Again, the number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Isn’t it interesting that the government has chosen to address the issue of suicide? Are they finally acknowledging how bad things really are? Or is this another step in the direction of becoming an even greater Nanny State? Whatever the reason, they’re offering some common sense advice worth taking.

Just as when Uncle Sam tells us to have 72-hour kits at the ready, or to be prepared in other ways for storms, their advice is worth considering. Often the government can be criticized for dealing in generalities and dishing out common sense anybody supposedly could have figured out on their own, but that doesn’t make Uncle Sam wrong. Yes, they actually get it right sometimes. Tackling the issue of suicide is one of those times.