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“Are you thinking about killing yourself?” can be a difficult question to ask someone, especially if that person is a loved one. However, this is the one question that could save their life.
People tend to think that by asking this question, it plants the idea of suicide in the person’s head. That is simply not true. According to Mayo Clinic’s web site, asking someone about their suicidal thoughts or feelings won’t push someone into doing something self-destructive. In fact, offering them an opportunity to talk about feelings may even reduce the risk of acting on suicidal feelings (MayoClinic.org).
A new phone app called Suicide Safe, has been created specifically for doctors and health professionals to use when they think a patient may be suicidal. According to SAMHSA, nearly half of all people who complete suicide have seen some sort of health professional in the month leading up to their deaths. Since mental health is not a standard area of study for general practitioners, this app will help them ask the right questions (NBCNews.com).
With help from our local healthcare professionals and the general public, we as a society can begin to build a more supportive and open dialogue about suicide. Being able to ask the tough question just may save someone you love.
About Jill Sauser, The Kim Foundation Project Coordinator
Jill graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. During her time at UNO, she completed a two year PR practicum program where she worked with numerous nonprofit clients including the MS Society, The Archdiocese of Omaha, The Omaha Food Bank, and YWCA. Since becoming Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation in April 2014, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Task-force, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, the Metro Area LOSS Team, and is helping lead an initiative with Douglas County Health Department called, “Just Reach Out,” which is designed to shift people’s mindset on behavioral health.