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MEMPHIS, MO – September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness month and Scotland County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions (SLS) is working to raise awareness and educate the community on the risk factors and warning signs of suicide. If you, or someone you know, are thinking of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group teletherapy program designed to meet the unique needs of senior adults living with symptoms of age-related depression or anxiety, dealing with difficult life transitions, a recent health diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one.
Rachel Peavler, RN, BSN, Program Director for Senior Life Solutions, said, “Talk of suicide should never be dismissed. It is important to reach people early. We know it can be difficult to ask for help. It’s important to raise awareness this month and always.”
According to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide and they are important to be aware of.
Several risk factors may include:
•A preexisting mental disorder
•Alcohol or substance use disorder
•Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
•Major physical illness
•Job or financial loss
•Loss of relationship(s)
•Access to lethal means
•Lack of social support and sense of isolation
Peavler added, “The stigma associated with asking for help, coupled with unrecognized depression in elderly, and lack of mental healthcare resources, can all pose as risk factors to an individual. We work to lessen the stigma and increase access to behavioral healthcare.” Peavler and her staff are raising awareness around the hospital facilities this month. There are yard signs lining the driveways of the Hospital & Clinic and an educational table display in the ER/Main Lobby of the Hospital.
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline also states that knowing these warning signs may help determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide:
•Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
•Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
•Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
•Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
•Talking about being a burden to others
•Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
•Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
•Sleeping too little or too much
•Withdrawing or isolating themselves
•Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
•Extreme mood swings
For more information, or if an older loved one is in need of help, call Senior Life Solutions program at 660-465-7595.
If you would like to know more about the services of Scotland County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions, please plan to come to the Open House this month on September 26th. A free lunch will be provided from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm. At 12:30 pm SLS officials will discuss their services. The Open House will be held in the SLS office which is located in the Annex Building at Scotland County Hospital (former Health Department Office). You will also find the staff from our Senior Life Solutions at the Scotland County Senior Nutrition Site (301 W Monroe, Memphis) at lunchtime on Thursday, September 28th. They will be on site, talking about their services and answering questions.