According to the proclamation suicide is now the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the state of Georgia, and the third leading cause of death among people from the age of 10 to 24 in Georgia. In the United States, one person completes suicide every 14.2 minutes.
“In our region as a whole we are number one in the state (for suicide),” Family Intervention Specialist, Whitney Gates said.
Gates specializes in helping survivors of suicide, those who have loved ones who commit suicide, cope with their losses.
Last year the number of suicides was approximately 12, and this year there is already an estimate of four, according to Gates.
She said some of the reasons people commit suicide is due to depression, anxiety or just a feeling of hopelessness.
“We see kids that come from bad homes or are being bullied at schools, and you can see some of them have thoughts or attempts.”
An increase in the overall suicide rate in our country was seen in 2009, representing a change in the recent pattern of stability or slight declines, the suicide rate for those 15-24 years old has more than doubled since the mid-1950s, and the suicide rate remain highest for adults 75 years of age and older, according to the proclamation.
“That’s the only way out that they see. It becomes so overwhelming they can’t see they have loved ones or they have so much ahead of them,” Gates said. “They are so deep in the hole all they can think is to stop the horrible feeling.”
Gates said, some of the signs that someone is thinking about suicide is rage and anger, feeling trapped, increased drug and alcohol use, if they start withdrawing from people and they don’t attend social functions like they use too, heightened anxiety, really irritable or don’t sleep at all or too much.
“Some people give no warning. It is the people that are happy, and that you would never expect,” says Gates. “You think they have everything thing in the world and they kept it so hidden, and it can be so surprising.”
If someone is showing these signs, or acting like they have given up talk to them and find out what is going on with them.
Gates said, opening up the suicide dialogue does not make someone want to do it more. It is so important that if you’ve been touched by suicide in your life to reach out for help.
There are so many emotions that people feel. They can be angry at their loved ones, which is okay to have those feelings, according to Gates.
“There is a whole range of emotions they can feel, and it is overwhelming,” said Gates. “A lot of people told me that the pain they feel from being left behind and not knowing why, and feeling like they couldn’t do anything is a pain they would not wish on their worst enemy.”
According to Gates, suicide can affect the whole community.
“We as people deserve to have the happiest life we can,” Gates said. “If there are things we can do to prevent or help people then that is important and that is a responsibility that we should all take on.“