The Importance of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Among Rural Areas and Seniors
September 29, 2022
Suicide is a lead cause of death in both men and women of all ages, according to recent studies. And older adults are found to have increased vulnerability to suicidal thoughts and tendencies. This can be due to a variety of factors, the most common being grief and loss of loved ones, chronic illness, isolation, and loss of independence.
Alongside age related factors that can cause an increase in risk of suicide, location has been shown to impact mental stability issues related to suicide. The Rural Health Information Hub states, “suicide rate is near twice as great in the most rural areas of the U.S. compared to the most urban areas.”
Suicide rates in rural areas compared to urban areas have continued to grow, with 50% increase in rural areas compared to 31% increase in urban areas between 1999 and 2019. The numbers speak for themselves, now is the time to make a change, specifically in our rural communities.
Fortunately, suicide is preventable and all of us can play a role in promoting prevention tactics and resources. Knowing the warning signs and risk factors of someone who may be contemplating suicide can have a significant impact. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, some of the most recognizable signs of potential suicide include:
- Drastic changes in behavior or exhibiting entirely new behaviors.
- Comments about killing themselves, feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain.
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs.
- Withdrawing from activities or isolating from family and friends.
- Sleeping too much or too little, often causing extreme fatigue and/or aggression.
- Giving away prized possessions and other impulsive behavior; and
- Looking for a way to end their life, such as searching for suicide methods online.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition, like depression, or exhibiting these warning signs and risk factors, please seek help immediately. Behavioral health professionals are devoted to your mental well-being and are there to help whenever you need them.
Trousdale Medical Center provides many behavioral health support services, including Senior Life Solutions, and is staffed by a highly trained team of providers, nurses and support staff. To learn more about the services provided, call 615.374.9991 or visit www.mytrousdalemedical.com/senior-life-services.