Be an Everyday Hero: You Can Save a Life

  • By Premier Family Medical
  • 06 Sep, 2017

Each year in the United States,  more than 44,000 people take their own lives . That’s an average of 121 suicides per day. It’s estimated that for every one reported, 12 more people engage in self-harm, whether intentional suicide attempts or not.

With rates on a steady incline, it’s past time for action. Each and every one of us needs to have a part in supporting those who struggle with suicidal thoughts. In order to be of any help, though, we need to be able to recognize the signs of a person on the brink. What should you look for and how can you help?

Don’t Ignore These Warning Signs

The American Association of Suicidology developed  a mnemonic for the warning signs . It goes as follows: IS PATH WARM?

I deation - Suicidal thoughts and planning (without the final act of self-murder)

S ubstance abuse - Drugs, alcohol, tobacco and so on


P urposelessness - “There's no point in going on.”

A nxiety - Constant or overwhelming worry or fear that interferes with the ability to function normally

T rapped - “There's no (other) way out of this.”

H opelessness - “Things will never get better | I will never get better.”


W ithdrawal - Choosing to avoid close friends, family or favorite activities

A nger - Prolonged anger or explosive outbursts of rage

R ecklessness - Acting carelessly or taking dangerous risks without thinking

M ood changes - Constant sadness or unexpected and dramatic mood swings

Spring Into Action!

If you notice any of the above signs, what should you do? You should immediately contact a healthcare professional. Some individuals go through with suicide, while others do not. Yet, no one should ever take the chance and assume that a person won’t follow through. It’s better to be on the safe side and seek help for them even if they don’t necessarily want it. What else can you do, though?

Many who’ve contemplated suicide but stopped short of an attempt attribute it to thinking of those around them. They contemplated on the pain and suffering that it would cause to family and friends who loved them and they chose to keep fighting. When they’re on the brink, you want the person to have no doubt that you love them, support them and will be devastated if anything happens to them.

The only way they can be convinced of this is if you show them genuine love, support and concern beforehand. You can listen patiently and without being critical if the person is willing to talk. If possible and when appropriate, you may also share your own experiences with getting control over dark feeling and thoughts. It helps to know they are not alone.

But what about those who we don’t have sustained contact with, perhaps a sad-looking stranger? A warm, genuine smile, a friendly hello or an encouraging comment can work wonders. We never know what’s going through the minds of others. That’s why we should always strive to be kind to those we know well and those we don’t. We could very well be saving a life.

Be an Advocate For Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Week is fast approaching. It will run from Sunday to Saturday, surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.  What can you do  to raise awareness, erase the stigma and encourage prevention?

  • Make a donation to an organization working for this important cause
  • Host a prevention and awareness event
  • Receive training on how to handle suicidal individuals
Not only can you make an impact, you can help others to do the same. The more people who step up to help those who are suffering, the better. How do you plan to step up and help during Suicide Prevention week and thereafter?

Recent posts from the Premier Family Medical Blog

Premier Family Medical Blog

By Premier Family Medical 13 Dec, 2017

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are beginning for many families, and the rush is on to find that perfect gift. Whether you’ve gotten all of the presents long ago, or you are still in the “research” phase, it’s a good idea to have safety a priority in addition to fun.

Getting presents for kids can be really easy, or quite tricky. You have to think about age appropriateness, trends, components, to name a few considerations. Not sure what to do? It’s okay, here are few tips.

By Premier Family Medical 06 Dec, 2017

How would you answer? When is flu season? You might have heard that it begins in December and often lasts through February. While that’s generally true, it’s also true that the beginning and end of the season are unpredictable. In fact, sometimes it can begin in the fall and continue through spring.

No matter the time of year, though, no one wants to end up with the flu. Coughing, chills, body ache and fever really don’t sound pleasant, do they? So what can you do to make sure that you’re spared for one more season? Get vaccinated.
By Premier Family Medical 29 Nov, 2017

Did you know that November is Bladder Health Month ?

Bladder health isn’t something that’s talked about openly or often. Yet, it’s very important. The ultimate goal of Bladder Health Month is to help people speak more openly about it, improve their overall bladder health and raise bladder cancer awareness.

When we think about bladder health it raises the question: What important things do you need to know on this subject of bladder health? Two issues that you should be aware of are first, urinary incontinence and an overactive bladder (OAB), and what are worrisome symptoms that I should talk to my doctor about.

More Posts

Request An Appointment Find A Doctor Find A Location

Ask Us Anything

Do you have a health topic or question you'd like us to blog about?  Send us a message and lets us know what you want to hear from us. 
*All submissions are confidential



Share by: