September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day

“The big thing is to listen”

Man Holding Help Sign

© Srdjan Randjelovic | Dreamstime.com

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – September 10th is world suicide prevention day, and the entire month of September is dedicated to bringing awareness to suicide prevention. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans overall and the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10-34.”

Suicides numbers are on the rise. 

Dr. Paul Friday, the Chief of Clinical Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Shady Side tells the KDKA Radio Afternoon News, “I think it is because of social media.  The ubiquity of instant knowledge of everything going around is intolerable.”

“The youth of today are so wired into two things.  This instant messaging to everybody all the time, plus the turning inward of people who lose social skills, learn to talk about their real problems by gaming and social media.”

Dr. Friday says that the key is to get young children to have the skills and permission to talk about what is going on in their heads.

“The current span of people who are vulnerable, are around 17-year-olds, give or take 7-8 years.  That generation hasn’t learned to talk about their feelings.”

Some warning signs include; feeling like a burden, feeling trapped, increased anger, moods swings, and too little/too much sleep.

Dr. Friday says, “The big thing is to listen.  The goal is not for a friend or a relative to be the instant therapist that is going to fix this.”

“Do not “should” on them, listening is the solution.”

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