State agencies strive to save lives
By Elburn Herald
on September 9, 2010
Groups announce efforts to raise suicide prevention awareness
Illinoisâ€”The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are working together on suicide awareness. Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 5-11. More than 1,000 people die by suicide in Illinois every year.
â€œMental health problems can affect anyone and are serious illnesses that demand the same urgency and compassion as any other illness,â€ said IDHS Acting Secretary Grace Hong Duffin. â€œWe all need to learn how to support our friends and relatives who may be feeling suicidal. It only takes one person to prevent a tragic death. All persons with mental illnesses can recover and participate fully in life.â€
â€œIt Only Takes Oneâ€ is the slogan of the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance (ISPA). It refers to the huge impact one person can make in preventing a death by suicide. ISPA plays an advisory role to Illinois’ Department of Public Health, and contains a broad array of public agencies, private groups and concerned individuals.
â€œWith this combined public awareness campaign, we show how screening, identification and treatment can save lives and guide persons in crisis towards recovery,” said IDPH Director Damon Arnold, M.D. â€œIt is crucial that Illinoisans become more aware that death by suicide is preventable and lives can be saved if suicidal tendencies are detected early.â€
For more information on resources and actions that you can take, visit www.dhs.state.il.us or call 1-866-880-4459.
By the numbers
â€¢ Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
â€¢ Every 15 minutes, someone dies in this country by suicide.
â€¢ Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds in the U.S. It is the third leading cause of death among youth; the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65, and the fifth leading cause of death among children who are 5-14 years old.
In the moment
If you are in crisis now, or if you or someone you are concerned about is in a crisis state and at risk of harm to yourself, others or property, or at risk of psychiatric hospitalization, you should:
â€¢Â Call 911â€”Police and fire department personnel are trained responders to situations involving mental health issues.
â€¢Â Go to the emergency room at a local area hospital
â€¢Â Contact the nearest provider of crisis psychiatric services.