WARNING: This blog may contain information that may upset some readers.
Though it's a common misconception that discussing mental health and suicide is taboo, they should be openly discussed without the stigma that so frequently envelops them. Advance ER is here to be a part of the conversation to discuss preventative tips and resources.
But first — to understand the significance of this subject, let's take a deeper look at the patterns seen in emergency rooms regarding suicide over the past few years.
The Sobering Statistics
- In Texas, the rate of ED visits related to suicidal ideation or suicide attempt was the highest among those aged 15 to 44 in the last several years.
- Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts result in over 650,000 emergency room visits annually in the United States.
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, suicide attempts resulting in emergency room visits have increased.
Leading Causes of Suicide Attempts
Suicidal ideation and attempts do not have a single cause. Instead, numerous factors can be of influence. The main justifications given are as follows:
It is common for mental health disorders to be cited for suicide attempts. According to the National Library of Medicine, depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and eating disorders are among the most common mental illnesses that influence suicidality.
Other risk factors include environmental factors, such as access to firearms, or prolonged stress due to life events, such as divorce, unemployment, or financial crisis. Additionally, physical conditions can lead to suicidal ideations, such as chronic health conditions or traumatic brain injuries.
Mental Health: Why It's So Important
Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Consequently, our mental health affects all aspects of our lives, from decisions to interactions with others.
While the entirety of our health and quality of life is dependent on the state of our mental health, mental health disorders are often left untreated. It's time to break the silence and start talking about it.
Mental Health Tips
Following are some tips for taking care of and maintaining your mental health:
- Talk to someone you trust about how you're feeling. You can talk with someone personally or partake in therapy. You don't have to struggle to benefit from therapy; it can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being!
- Exercise and eat healthy foods. Taking care of your body can help enhance your mood and make you feel less stressed.
- Make sure you get enough sleep. Most of us need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to maintain optimal cognitive function.
- Take breaks from social media and work. It's important to unplug and relax from time to time.
- Moderate the use of drugs and alcohol. They can make your symptoms worse and lead to addiction.
- Practice self-care routines. This can look different for everyone, but some ideas include: taking a bath, reading your favorite book, going for a walk in nature, or spending time with friends and family.
Help is Available
There are several different resources Texans can utilize for suicide prevention, including:
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides crisis counseling and 24/7 support for people in distress. You can call this helpline at 1-800-273-8255.
- The Texas Suicide Prevention Council offers resources for suicide prevention, including a statewide suicide hotline that can be reached at 1-888-309-2131.
- The Dallas Fort Worth area also has several suicide prevention resources available, including:
- The Crisis Center of North Texas provides 24/7 crisis counseling and support. They can be reached at 1-866-260-8000.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Denton County offers support groups, education classes, and other resources for those affected by mental illness.
- The Mental Health America of Greater Dallas provides counseling, support groups, and educational resources on mental health topics.
Supporting Your Mental Health Journey at Advance ER
We cannot stress the importance of taking care of your mental health enough. While Advance ER handles emergencies, we are also here to support you on your mental health journey.
It's time to break the silence and start talking about mental health. Support is always available, and please know you are NOT alone. If you need support or more resources, contact us online or call us at (214) 494-8222 today.
If you or someone you know is in a crisis, dial the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There is also a crisis lifeline available to text at every minute of the day – simply text 988.