September is Suicide Awareness Prevention month. Is suicide preventable? The answer is yes, and executive director at the Michigan branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, explains how.
Kevin Fischer's son Domonique died by suicide in 2010 to suicide. At the time, Kevin says he did not know suicide was a risk for his son, and did not know suicide could be prevented.
"He had never spoked of suicide and we had no indication he was going to do that," Fischer says. "Suicide is preventable, first, really by just being kind. If you have someone who you're concerned about, then you want to address it directly with them, and really show them kindness and empathy and let them know that they are important to you and that you care for them. You want to ask them, 'Are you safe? Are you considering harming yourself?' And you have to be direct and ask that question. Beyond that, [ask], 'What can I do to help you?' 'Can I call your psychiatrist for you?' 'Can I take you somewhere?'
Fischer also explains the red flags to look for.
"Sometimes, people will tell you; sometimes you have to notice their actions. For example, are they getting rid of valuable things to them? Are they getting their affairs in order? Are they asking to borrow items that can help them complete suicide?" he says.
It's not talked about much, but suicides occur more often than we may think. Fischer says, on average, about 34,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States.
If you would like to join the conversation about suicide prevention, you can take part in the NAMI Walk on Saturday, Sept. 26 on Belle Isle. For more information on the walk, click here