Due to recent very sad events in our area and in our world, we all need to take a closer look at our friends and family, especially if depression is evident in their lives.

Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or the deaf hotline at 800-799-4889. In order to keep someone safe, it might be necessary to contact your local police or take the suicidal person to the hospital for immediate help.

The best way to minimize the risk of suicide is to know the risk factors and to recognize the warning signs of suicide. Take these signs seriously. Know how to respond to them. It could save someone's life.

Are There Warning Signs of Suicide?  Warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning to commit suicide include:

Be especially concerned if a person is exhibiting any of these warning signs and has attempted suicide in the past. Don’t take chances. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, between 20% and 50% of people who commit suicide have had a previous attempt.

One member of a local family deeply devastated by suicide just recently posted:

“I have really felt the need to post this status for several days now, especially after hearing about another suspected suicide by Actor Robin Williams. People, you NEVER ever know what someone is going through. The happiest of all people could be the loneliest person on the inside. Depression is a DEADLY disease that killed my father and several other precious YOUNG people recently. I hear people saying it is selfish and not the way out. You are correct in that it is not the way out, and there is ALWAYS help out there; however, when you are so sad inside, at that very moment you see no way to get out. My dad was NOT selfish nor the others. When you are in that mindset, you just can't think clearly. Keep a close eye on people you suspect. Take the smallest signs seriously. Think about it before you say, "I'd kill myself if..." Those words hurt me to the core even if it is a joke... Suicide is too serious and happening way too frequently to joke about. Just always remember to smile, be positive, and love others because you never know: You could be the very person that could save another's life to this deadly disease called depression by that simple smile and positive words.”