NH DHHS - Preventing Suicide Through Changing Attitudes: The Times They Are A Changin’

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), in collaboration with the State’s Suicide Prevention Council is

recognizing National Suicide Prevention Week from September 8-14, 2013 by

stressing the importance of challenging assumptions and attitudes to help

improve prevention efforts.

This year’s theme is Preventing Suicide Through Changing Attitudes: The

Times They Are A Changin’. “Nationally, one person commits suicide about

every 14 minutes,” said NH’s Public Health Director Dr. Jose Montero.

“Here in New Hampshire, it’s the fifth leading cause of death overall and

the second for people between the ages 15-34. These statistics underscore

the need for us to work together to change attitudes related to suicide and

work to connect people with the help they need to prevent it. We know this

works because our health care providers, regardless if they’re a primary

care provider or a specialist, are now recognizing warning signs and are

helping connect their patients with the help they need.”

Attitudes and professional cultures have been changing for the positive in

the State, which is helping to reduce stigma and more people being offered

help. “One example of that is a program that DHHS, Easter Seals and the New

Hampshire National Guard have been working together on called the

Deployment Cycle Support Program,” said DHHS Associate Commissioner Nancy

Rollins. “The program, being implemented statewide, is offered to our

military personnel. It provides comprehensive care coordination to our

military, helping them to access mental health services and other supports.

Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They

just want to end the pain they are experiencing. Recognizing this pain

early can lead to saving lives. There are services and programs available

in the State for the assessment of suicidal behaviors and their underlying


Everyone can help in suicide prevention. Warning signs include:

· Talking about death or suicide

· Hopelessness

· Anger

· Increasing alcohol or drug use

· Isolation

· Mood changes

Recognize these signs and connect the person to help. If you or someone

you know is in crisis or emotional distress, you can call the Suicide

Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The line is available 24 hours a day/ 7

days a week.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit the Suicide Prevention

Resource Center at www.sprc.org  or the National Alliance for Mentally Ill

New Hampshire at

www.naminh.org/education/suicide-prevention   or BBH