NMG ECHOES MAINE CDC MESSAGE THAT
ANYONE AND EVERYONE CAN HELP PREVENT SUICIDE
EAGLE LAKE, Maine (Sept. 12, 2019) – Northern Maine General joins Maine CDC in reminding Maine residents that anyone and everyone can help prevent suicide. To that end, NMG is using its website and Facebook page to spotlight Five Action Steps that could save a life.
If a friend, relative or someone you know is at risk of suicide:
1. ASK: Are you contemplating suicide?
2. KEEP THEM SAFE: Ask him if he has thought about how he would do it, and remove anything that would harm him. The more details the person has envisioned, the greater the risk. Use the national Lifeline as a resource.
3. BE THERE: This step speaks to helping your friend or loved one feel more connected and less isolated. Ask for the reasons why, and listen without judgement.
4. HELP THEM CONNECT: Provide her with the national Lifeline phone number and other ongoing resources. Help her write an Action Plan so she can be ready should another trigger occur.
5. FOLLOW UP: This step encourages you to check in regularly with your friend or loved one during the days and weeks after a crisis.
Maine CDC promotes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's evidence-based, five-step #BeThe1To campaign (highlighted above) and encourages individuals to intervene when someone they know may be at risk of suicide. More information on each step is available at www.bethe1to.com.
Since 1999, suicide death rates have increased in nearly every state, rising more than 30% in half the states, according to a Sept. 10 press release by Maine.Gov. In Maine, suicide death rates increased by 27% from 1999 through 2016, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among Maine youth and adults ages 10-35.
"Asking someone if they are thinking about killing themselves does not increase their risk of attempting suicide," said Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah. "For someone contemplating suicide, knowing that someone cares and can connect them to help may be the thing that saves their life."
"The statistics regarding youth suicide are alarming," said Dr. Todd Landry, Director of Maine's Office of Child and Family Services, which oversees child welfare and children's behavioral health services. "Suicide is more common among vulnerable youth, so I encourage adults to engage with the youth in their lives – talk to them, ask them questions, and connect with them. For a youth who is struggling, that connection to a trusted adult who loves and cares about them can have tremendous importance."
Sixty-four percent of people who attempt suicide visit their doctor in the month before their attempt and 38% do so in the week before, according to Maine.Gov.
"People need to know it is a sign of strength to say they are struggling, and that help is available," said Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah.
NMG provides Outpatient Mental Health Services (www.nmgeneral.org) that can be used as ongoing, supportive resource; However, if you or someone you love is in crisis, call the MAINE CRISIS HOTLINE (24/7/365) at 1-888-568-1112. If you are not in Maine, call the NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The VETERANS CRISIS LINE is the same number: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1.
Northern Maine General is a nonprofit social services organization serving Aroostook County, with business offices in Eagle Lake and Caribou. Founded in 1907, NMG provides long-term care, rehabilitation, home and community supports, behavioral health services, targeted case management, and consultation services and resources. Contracted services include subsidized apartments.