RECOMMENDATIONS RELEASED FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION
At least two thirds of suicide deaths happen within a month of a healthcare-related contact, such as an ED visit, primary care appointment, or mental healthcare interaction, notes the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (2018).
Nurses have a role in preventing suicide attempts and deaths by assessing patients who may be at risk. These facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018) can help nurses more readily identify people who might need additional time or conversation to evaluate their potential for attempting suicide.
- — Older males (age 50+) are more likely than any other group to consider suicide.
- — Suicide in males is four times higher overall than for females.
- — Among those ages 15 to 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
- — More than 20 veterans commit suicide daily, 22 times the rate of the general U.S. population.
- — Depression is a key indicator for assessment. Nearly 25% of Americans age 18 and older are depressed.
- — Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide:
Evidence-based recommendations include screening all at-risk patients, creating an intervention plan, and following up with individuals who have been counseled or treated.
Offspring of parents with strong religious beliefs have a dramatically reduced risk for suicidality, new research shows. Investigators found an 80% lower risk for suicidal thoughts or attempts for individuals whose parents placed a high value on religion, in comparison with their counterparts whose parents placed little emphasis on the importance of religion (Anderson, 2018).
“Suicide prevention should be managed in the same way as prevention of medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease,” stated the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention's Mike Hogan, PhD.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Suicide prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/index.html; https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/900753?nlid=124452_4622&src=WNL_mdplsnews_180817_mscpedit_nurs&uac=218173MN&spon=24&impID=1715063&faf=1#vp_1
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. (2018). Recommended standard care for people with suicide risk: Making health care suicide safe. Retrieved from http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/sites/actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/files/Action%20Alliance%20Recommended%20Standard%20Care%20FINAL.pdf
LONELINESS, THE NEW SMOKING
“Strong social connections are important to health. People with close friends are more likely to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, maintain peace of mind, and have less stress,” states Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Fifty-one percent of people over 75 live alone, and 26% face increased risk of death due to feeling lonely. More than 8 million adults age 50 and older are affected by isolation. Loneliness, the new smoking, is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes daily. “Studies show that loneliness can shave eight years off life expectancy. The mortality risk for loneliness is greater than that of obesity,” notes the AARP Bulletin.
Optimism, a life purpose, and others to share life with are vital to health and wellness.—AARP Bulletin, June 2018.
“God, you are our faithful shepherd, who walks beside us in green pastures and through the valleys of deep shadows. You have promised to pursue us with your goodness and mercy all the days of our lives. Yet, we confess that we often doubt your compassion and care for us. When we are harassed and helpless, instead of turning to you and trusting you to care for our needs and lead us in straight paths, we seek help in our idols and comfort in our sins.”
“Jesus, thank you for the compassion that brought you from heaven to live among us as the Good Shepherd. Thank you for entering life's trials and enduring death's valley in our place. Thank you that you always trusted the Father's care for you, even when he gave you the overflowing, bitter cup of suffering to drink for us.”
“Holy Spirit, be our comforter. Help us trust you to provide, when we are helpless to do so. Teach us to find refuge in you, when we have nowhere else to turn, and when no one else seems to understand our needs. Enable us in return to show similar compassion and care for others as well, so that we may learn to love the other members of your flock as you do.”—From Prone to Wonder: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Barbara R. Duguid and Wayne Duguid Houk, p. 126, 2015, P&R Publishing: Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
—PulseBeats compiled by Cathy Walker