Suicide prevention

GEHA | September 13, 2019

mental health
Suicide affects people of all ages and is often preventable. While there is no single cause for suicidal behavior, there are several risk factors. A normal response to stress is not suicide. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress and should not be ignored.

Suicide affects people of all ages and is often preventable. While there is no single cause for suicidal behavior, there are several risk factors.

Some risk factors include:

  • Depression, mental disorders or substance abuse disorder
  • Access to firearms
  • Serious or chronic medical conditions
  • Prolonged stress
  • Recent tragedy or loss
  • Prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of suicide
  • A history of abuse or violence
  • Gender. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide.

Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. A normal response to stress is not suicide. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress and should not be ignored.

Family and friends are often the first to recognize the warning signs of suicidal behavior. These warning signs include:

  • Wanting to die
  • Feeling empty, hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Great guilt or shame
  • Feeling trapped with no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable emotional or physical pain
  • Feeling of being a burden to others
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated, or extreme mood swings
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Showing rage or seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death
  • Putting affairs in order
  • Saying goodbye to family and friends

Get help with MDLIVE

Telemedicine help is available for you or a household family member who is experiencing any of the risk factors or suicidal behaviors. This online counseling provides 24/7 virtual access to doctors and therapists. Studies have shown that telemedicine can be as effective as in-person counseling, with the added benefits of privacy and convenience.

MDLIVE Behavioral Health Services is available to GEHA medical members. To start using MDLIVE, activate your account online or call 888.912.1183. 

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, chat online with The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call them at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.                 


Sources:

“MDLIVE – Behavioral Health Services.” www.mdlive.com, MDLIVE Medical Group, MDLIVE Inc., 2016.
“Preventing Suicide.” www.cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 September 2018.
“Suicide Prevention.” www.nimh.nih.gov, The National Institute of Mental Health, July 2019.
“Telemedicine/telebehavior.” www.geha.com, GEHA.