CT Aims to Keep People Safe During Suicide Prevention Month — Connecticut by the Numbers


But, Duarte said, how a person thinks about suicide can change depending on their current circumstances.

“Some people may struggle chronically with suicidal thoughts — just like you have a chronic other type of illness,” Duarte said. “And there will be ups and downs and ebbs and flows, and sometimes you’ll have increased severity and sometimes you’ll have less. It is important to understand the spectrum of thought.”

One tool that is easy for physicians to use is the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. This is a short list of questions that can tell a clinician where a person’s mental health is at this moment.

This can help a doctor understand the right course of action to provide a person with the right mental health treatment.

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Although mental health has come a long way in the past decade, there are some concerns about the stigma attached to suicide. According to Mental Health America, approximately 25% of US adults suffer from some type of mental illness.

Duarte said she believes that despite the progress made in destigmatizing mental health, there is still more work to be done.

“Sometimes it depends on the population,” Duarte said. “You can have certain demographics that feel that mental illness or poor mental health is a sign of weakness or that suicidal thoughts are a sign of weakness. Or even against a religion. So there’s a lot of stigma built up around mental health.”

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Duarte said it had nothing to do with weakness. Rather, people could be traumatized by their current circumstances, resulting in poor mental health or a traumatic history.

Because of the culture that has built up over the years, these stigmas can be difficult to overcome. She said that just like physical health, everyone has mental health.

In July, the National Suicide Hotline established a simpler phone number — 988. However, Connecticut residents have several options for contacting the National Suicide Hotline — such as: B. dialing 211 or using the original Suicide Hotline number.

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She said she hopes people will understand that dialing this number is not only for those who are seriously contemplating suicide, but for those who fall within the suicidal spectrum.

“It’s important for people to understand that the majority of people who call,” Duarte said, “do not necessarily need to be referred for what we call an active rescue because they are not at immediate risk.”

Duarte said she hopes anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts will contact 988 or seek mental health treatment options. Visit preventuidect.org for more information.



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