Suicide prevention awareness month

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Oklahoma has seen a rise in suicides since the start of the pandemic, it is one of the leading causes for death in the state.

It’s not an easy topic to talk about but with rising numbers advocates said we should be talking about it more.

“We should be talking about suicide prevention all year round in Oklahoma, this is the time of the year where we see higher rates of suicide and suicide has long been a leading cause of death in our state,” said Dismukes.

According to the Center for disease control and prevention, more than 47,000 Americans die by suicide each year.

Suicide is now the 4th leading cause of death for adults.

Dismukes said it can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or race but many people are scared to ask for help.

“Because it is hard to understand and it’s dark, reach out talk to somebody, ask them that very direct question and then work to find them appropriate help,” he said.

He said to look for significant changes in behavior, lack of interest in things that previously brought joy, or even someone who has been depressed for a long time suddenly unusually happy.

Each suicide can affect many people, family and friends.

‘Grief Share’ with Cameron Baptist Church is a support group for those who have lost loved ones.

They say suicide grief is different for the ones left behind.

“They feel like they have been abandoned by their loved one, the thought that they would end their life and leave them, a lot of anger, and a lot of questions,” said Purdue.

Purdue said joining a support group can help you heal and move forward.

“You tell your story that you never wanted to tell to people you don’t even know, the vulnerability of who you are and what you’ve gone through diminishes,” she said.

She said anyone in the community who has lost a loved one is welcomed to attend.

All you need to come is a broken heart and 20 dollars for a workbook.

988 is the national suicide prevention lifeline, a service available to anyone anywhere in the state.

They help find services regardless of where you are at. They have the ability to respond right then and there and are confidential.