Suicide prevention amid the coronavirus pandemic

National Suicide Prevention Month

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - September is Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide continues to be a major problem. The United States has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. This year, doctors are worried about the added impact of the coronavirus.

Right now, suicides are the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. With COVID-19, there is even more stress created on people. There are signs those suffering from depression and those loved ones need to watch out for.

The coronavirus has created problems around the world. A doctor of psychiatry at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center says it has added to stress levels that many people are already feeling.

“The extra level of stress has put people in a higher risk because of losing their job, not able to go outside, staying at home, couples are fighting more,” Dr. Amin Gilani with Brookwood Baptist Medical Center said.

Dr. Gilani is urging those suffering from negative thoughts and those around them to be aware of certain changes in their moods.

“There will be a significant change in their behavior. They may be more withdrawn or more outgoing. They will want to get rid of their prized possessions,” Gilani said.

Other tips to watch out for include these people saying ‘I wish, take care of yourself, have good memories’. If they say those things, take them very seriously. Some people may be hesitant to take action. Dr Gilani said don’t.

“Bottomline - ask. Ask people who are down and depressed. If you see someone who has changed, ask them if they are thinking of hurting themself. You will save one life,” Gilani said.

Dr. Gilani said if there is a gun in the house and the person has negative thoughts, get them to give it up until they are better. Guns account for the highest forms of suicides.

If you need help or know someone who needs help, you can contact the Crisis Line Crisis Center Birmingham at 1-800-273-TALK OR (8255). You can also text 741741.

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