Suicide Prevention Hotline: 240 Calls in January from Local Residents


Published 03/03 2014 02:08PM

Updated 03/03 2014 02:20PM

Suicide is a growing concern in our country.  According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, someone dies from suicide every 13.7 minutes. 

Here in Fort Wayne the Suicide Prevention Hotline received 240 calls in January from Allen County residents.  WFFT's Brooke Welch talked with experts about the warning signs, so you can get help for a loved one before it's too late.

Last year in Allen County, 42 people died.  Not by accident, not because of disease, but because they willingly took their own life.

"It's an immense feeling of loss and a feeling of regret, and many "what if" questions come to families mind."

42 families in Allen County are missing a loved one lost to suicide in 2013.  Psychiatrist Dr. Prevesh Rustagi says suicide is on the rise with teenagers and young adults because often times they don't look past high school, a failed test, or a breakup.

"Their focus becomes that and they see life through a tunnel vision that they don't see the big picture of life and that narrowed perspective and that problem becomes everything and that leads to such a tragedy sometimes."

Statistics show that for every suicide there is 100-200 attempted suicides.  Victim Advocate Tracey Smiley with "A Better Way" Services gives some warning signs that you can look for in a loved one.

"We listen for loss.  We also listen for how they think about themselves.  A lot of times they might feel hopeless or helpless.  They might say things that make them seem like they are a burden on other individuals.  They might also say that they are in pain."

Both Dr. Rustagi and Tracy say keeping open lines of communication and making sure your teen doesn't feel isolated helps with suicidal thoughts.  Also, both say to ask your loved one if you are concerned.

"The best thing to do is to ask openly and honestly 'are you thinking about suicide'?  That person knows that you don't think there's a stigma related to suicidal thoughts, and that you are actually there to help them out."

Suicide is also on the rise with the elderly.  If you notice these warning signs in a loved one or yourself, please get help immediately.  The Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 765-747-9107.

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