Preventing suicide is everyone’s job

Know the warning signs.

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. Behavioral health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is usually caused by more than one issue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of people who have died by suicide did not have a known behavioral health condition. Other issues often contribute to suicide, such as having challenges in relationships, physical health, and work, money, legal or housing situations. In the last 20 years, suicide rates have risen in almost every state, with over half the country seeing increases of 30% and higher. Now more than ever, everyone should know the warning signs of suicide.

Changes in behavior, or entirely new behaviors, can be warning signs of suicide:

  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Social withdrawal or self-isolation
  • Putting their affairs in order and giving away their possessions

Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness.

If you notice that someone in your life is showing warning signs, especially if they are experiencing other challenges, reach out. It’s okay to ask what you can do to help.

Sharp Health Plan offers behavioral health coverage and support to provide relief during tough times, and can help you find the compassionate care you need. You can access covered behavioral health services provided by Psychiatric Centers at San Diego (PCSD), our partner in behavioral health. No referral is needed from your primary care physician to receive covered behavioral health services. The best way to access services is to first find a doctor affiliated with PCSD. To schedule an appointment, call PCSD at 1-877-257-7273.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or call 911 immediately.


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