Suicide is a tragedy, regardless of the circumstances.

In the vast majority of cases, it is a preventable tragedy.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

We know that no segment of our community is immune but young people and veterans are among our most vulnerable and at-risk. Still, suicide is not isolated to those groups. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline says there are numerous risk factors for suicide that include:

— Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders.

— Alcohol and other substance use disorders.

— Hopelessness.

— Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies.

— History of trauma or abuse.

— Major physical illnesses.

— Previous suicide attempt(s).

— Family history of suicide.

— Job or financial loss.

— Loss of relationship(s).

— Easy access to lethal means.

— Local clusters of suicide.

— Lack of social support and sense of isolation.

— Stigma associated with asking for help.

— Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment.

— Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma.

— Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet).

NSPL says everyone should be aware of certain warning signs that may be indicators someone is at or near the crisis point. These warning signs include:

— Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.

— Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun.

— Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

— Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

— Talking about being a burden to others.

— Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.

— Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

— Sleeping too little or too much.

— Withdrawing or isolating themselves.

— Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

— Extreme mood swings.

Shockingly, there are more than 1,000 suicide-related admissions of children to Georgia hospitals each year.

Officials in our state warn individuals who exhibit signs of suicide, or identify signs of suicide in others, can call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line, 1-800-715-4225, 24/7. All calls are free and confidential. Alternatively, visit for assistance.

We urge you to call for help if you, or someone you love or even know, appears to be at-risk.

Life is precious and worth saving.

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