Suicide warning signs

47,000 Americans died by suicide in 2017.

Several years ago, I was shocked to learn that suicide was a leading cause of death in America. Too often we hear of death and think of heart disease, cancer, or accident and don’t think of suicide. We often hear of homicide as a major cause of death on the news but suicide actually ranks higher as a leading causes of death in America. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death while homicide is 16th.

Suicide deaths have been rising for the past 10 years with little signs of slowing down. 47,000 Americans died by suicide in 2017. Another way to think about this number is that 1 completed suicide happens every 11 minutes. Another way to think about this shocking leading cause of death is 129 completed suicides happen every day.

In Michigan, on average, one person dies by suicide every 7 hours. In Michigan, more than twice as many people die by suicide annually than homicide.
Learn more about the impacts of suicide in your state by visiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website at

Suicide warning signs

Please understand that suicide has no single cause. Many times suicide and major depressive disorder go hand and hand. Depression is highly treated with psychotherapy (counseling) and medications.

Verbal expressions such as, “I want to die,” “I feel hopeless,” or “this world is better without me.”

Behavioral actions such as, withdrawing from others, acquiring lethal means such as a gun or pills and giving away prized possessions.

Situational experiences such as, sudden loss of job, financial insecurity, loss of freedom, or a significant relationship ending.

Learn more about suicide warning signs by visiting any of the following suicide prevention websites:

Remember, no great misery goes unnoticed, if you are struggling with your mental health, be sure to reach out to a qualified mental health professional. If you are considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, call 9-1-1, or visit the closest emergency room.

Free depression screening

You can take a free mental health depression screening online. It’s anonymous too. This screening takes about 1 minute to complete. At the end of the screening you will be connected to additional mental health resources. Take a free and anonymous screening at Help Yourself, Help Others. *Please note that screening are for informational and educational purposes.

How do I talk with a suicidal person?

As a Certified QPR Instructor, I provide 60 minute training to groups of 25 people about suicide warning signs and how to work with a suicidal person. QPR stands for question, persuade, and refer.

QPR training is for the every day person, not a counselor or a therapist. If you work with people, have a family, or have friends then this short training is something you should consider. If you are interested in bringing this essential training to your work, church, or organization, please contact me.

I believe that you deserve more than ok. If you’re feeling depressed and ready to make your mental health a priority, contact me today.

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Jeff Simms Licensed Professional Counselor

Jeff Simms is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Counselor in private practice in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Jeff works with adults that want to get better dealing with their anxiety, depression, PTSD, and marriage.

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