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Mental Health Matters: Know the Signs of Suicide

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According to recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate has increased in almost every state in the nation — and by more than 30 percent in 25 states — in the past two decades.

More than half of the people who died by suicide had undiagnosed mental health problems. The CDC notes that “relationship, substance use, health and job or financial problems are among the other circumstances contributing to suicide.”​

Know the Signs

We can all help prevent suicide and encourage loved ones to seek mental health support. ​Below are a few of the signs to watch for in friends or family:

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
  • 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

How Can You Help Yourself?

If you are personally dealing with mental health issues, suicidal thoughts or a crisis, don’t forget that it’s just as important to stop and listen to your owns needs. Below are a few ways to help you get through a difficult time.

  • Find a therapist or support group
  • Build a support network
  • Use your support network
  • Make a safety plan
  • Access support resources through your employer’s, such as an assistance plan or group

Ochsner Employee Assistance Program

If you are an Ochsner Employee and need support at any time, please call 877-595-5284 or 800-697-0353, or visit

24/7 Assistance

Anyone could be struggling with suicide and mental illness. If any of the signs above are displayed by loved ones or felt by yourself, please consider taking action. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline any day, any time at 1-800-273-8255.
  • Text ‘SIGNS’ to 741741 for 24/7 anonymous, free crisis counseling.

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