Oakland County takes action to prevent suicide

Five Oakland County organizations will implement a prevention plan to address the issues of youth suicide, mental illness and substance abuse in the region. Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services, Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority, Common Ground, Easter Seals, and Treatment and Training Innovations have partnered for this major initiative.

In addition, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and the Board of Commissioners have declared May 2012 as Mental Health Month and May 6-12 as Children's Mental Health Week to raise awareness of suicide, mental illness and substance abuse.

"Suicide and substance abuse are major public health issues, but they are preventable," said Patterson. "By working together, these outstanding Oakland County groups can reach out to youth who need our help."

"Our goal is to build youth's resiliency, including coping skills, stress management and seeking services for mental health or substance abuse issues," said Jeff Brown, executive director of Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority. "If the way others see you on the outside doesn't match what you feel on the inside, ask for help."

More people die by suicide each year in the United States than by homicide. A person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes. It is the third leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15 to 24. While males are more likely to die by suicide, females are more likely to attempt suicide.

Knowing the risk factors may help prevent suicide. They include a personal or family history of mental illness or substance abuse; personal or family history of suicide; feelings of isolation; recent loss; and family violence.

Some warning signs of suicide are:

* Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings.

* Fatigue and decreased energy.

* Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions.

* Insomnia or excessive sleeping.

* Overeating or appetite loss.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, do not leave the person alone and do not isolate yourself. Call your doctor, call 911, go to a hospital emergency room for immediate help, or ask someone to help you do these things. You can also call the Common Ground Crisis Line at 800-231-1127.

For additional information, go to the Oakland County Health Division website at www.oakgov.com/health

Additional Resources:

Common Ground--www.commongroundhelps.org.

Oakland County Community Mental Health--www.occmha.org.

Easter Seals--http://mi.easterseals.com.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center--www.sprc.org.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration--www.samhsa.gov.

National Alliance on Mental Illness--www.nami.org.

Published: Fri, May 4, 2012