The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Association for Suicide Prevention and national and local suicide prevention organizations have been working tirelessly to halt the growth of suicide rates in Michigan. As part of the effort, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared Sept. 6-12 Suicide Prevention Week.
“Michiganders may be experiencing increased levels of emotional distress due to the pandemic and, therefore, it’s critical for people to know there are resources available and help raise awareness about suicide prevention,” said Dr. Debra Pinals, MDHHS Medical Director for Behavioral Health.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in both Michigan and the nation, and a top-five leading cause among individuals who are 10-54 years old.
Michigan has higher rates of suicide among people who are 10-19 and 25-44 years of age compared to the nation as a whole. Michiganders can help lower these rates by knowing the warning signs of suicide, encouraging those at risk to seek help, and having open and honest conversations about suicide.
Warning signs for those at risk of suicide include:
• Feelings of hopelessness.
• Threatening to or talking about wanting to hurt oneself.
• Loss of interest in activities.
• Withdrawal from friends and family.
• Change in eating and sleeping habits.
If you are in a crisis, or know someone who needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or visit the MDHHS Suicide Prevention website for more information.
Additional emotional-support services for those who are feeling emotional distress during the COVID-19 pandemic are available at Michigan.gov/StayWell or by calling the Michigan Stay Well Counseling via the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 and pressing “8” to talk to a counselor 24/7.