Tag Archives: depression

#Bethe1To Stop Suicide for Suicide Prevention Month

Every September the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recognizes National Suicide Prevention Month. This month was created to highlight ways everyone can prevent suicide in their families, friendships, and other relationships.

Suicide is defined as a death resulting from the use of force against oneself when evidence indicates that the use of force was intentional. Suicide is a serious public health issue that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

2019-06 SCVDRS Suicide Factsheet[78]_Page_2

Know the Facts About Suicide in South Carolina

According to the 2018 South Carolina State Health Assessment:

  • The suicide rate has increased from 11.7 per 100,000 in 2007 to 15.7 per 100,000 in 2016.
  • Suicide was the fourth leading cause of premature death in South Carolina in 2016.
  • In adults aged 55-64 years, suicide was the main cause of injury death in 2016.
  • The suicide rate during 2016 was higher in men (24.6 per 100,000) than women (7.6 per 100,000).

Suicide_SC Health Assessment

What is DHEC Doing to Stop Suicide?

Internally, DHEC has a workgroup comprised of 16 central office and regional staff from different bureaus, divisions and professions. With technical assistance from the SC Department of Mental Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention, this group is working to implement the Zero Suicide framework at the agency. The Zero Suicide work group focuses on the development of suicide safe care pathways within the agency, which includes the creation of agency wide policy and procedures to identify and refer individuals struggling with suicide, training standards, and quality improvement measures. Adoption of this evidence-based framework aligns with the recommendations from the South Carolina Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2018-2025, created by the South Carolina Suicide Prevention Coalition.

DHEC uses the SC Violent Death Reporting System to support state and national partners with their prevention efforts by collecting and analyzing violent death information to determine circumstances that contribute to suicide, homicide, and accidental firearm deaths within the state.

To learn more about suicide prevention and how you can make a difference, visit #BeThere to Help.

Emotional Health After the Floods

By DHEC Communications Staff

emotional health

After a traumatic event, emotional and physical reactions are different for each person.  It is typical to react to a stressful event with increased anxiety, worry and anger.  Americans consistently demonstrate remarkable resilience in the aftermath of disasters and other traumatic events.

Connect with Friends and Family

Check in with family members and friends to find out how they are coping. Feeling stressed, sad, and upset are common reactions to life changing events. Recognize and pay attention to early warning signs of more serious distress. Your children, like you, will have reactions to this difficult situation; they too may feel fearful, angry, sad, worried, and confused. Children will benefit from your talking with them on their level about what is happening, to get your reassurance, and to let them know that you and they will be okay and that you will all get through this together.

Take Care of Yourself and Each Other

Getting support from others, taking care of yourself by eating right, getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and drugs and getting some exercise can help to manage and alleviate stress.

When to Seek Help

Depending on the situation, some people may feel depressed, experience grief and anger, turn to alcohol or drugs and even think about hurting themselves or others. The signs of serious problems include:

  • excessive worry
  • crying frequently
  • an increase in irritability, anger, and frequent arguing
  • wanting to be alone most of the time
  • feeling anxious or fearful, overwhelmed by sadness, confused
  • having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating, and difficulty making decisions
  • increased alcohol and/or substance use
  • increased physical (aches, pains) complaints such as headaches
  • trouble with your “nerves”

If these signs and symptoms continue and interfere with daily functioning, it is important to seek help for yourself or a loved one.

Find Help

If you or someone you care about needs help, you should contact your health care provider to get connected with trained and caring professionals.  The number for the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Hotline is 1-800-985-5990, and it’s staffed 24 hours a day.  It is important to seek professional help if you need it.  For more information, please click here.