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Always Aware: September is Suicide Prevention Month

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 02 2013 06:13:33 AM CDT

Sept Suicide Prevention Month

It could be your best friend, a family member, a neighbor or a co-worker.

According to national statistics, one person takes their own life in the U.S. about every 13 minutes.

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and it's a chance to talk about the warning signs so you can be always aware.

In 2009, the number of deaths from suicide surpassed the number of deaths from car crashes in the U.S. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 38,364 people die by suicide each year.

"I'm very concerned," said Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim.

He says local levels are much higher. In fact, Grim's calling it an epidemic.

"Last year, 2012, and again this year so far we're seeing a tremendous increase," Grim explained.

While it's unclear why so many people in Lehigh County are taking their own lives, suicide can be prevented if you take action.

"We need to reach out and try to educate the community," Grim said.

He says there are key suicide warning signs everyone should be aware of.

"Some people are very depressed, very stressed, despondent," Grim described. "They're not socializing, they're not communicating with other family members, their friends, their coworkers."

Numerous agencies and groups in the area want to help if you or a loved is feeling suicidal, but the red flags need to be recognized.

"If you're seeing a loved one or a co-worker or a friend that just doesn't seem right, don't be afraid to reach out to them," said Grim. "Don't be afraid to ask them if everything's okay."

For help, the following agencies can offer assistance:

Lehigh County Crisis Intervention

Lehigh County Suicide Prevention

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Lehigh Valley Chapter

Lehigh County Youth Suicide Prevention

PA Crisis Hotlines