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  • Writer's pictureMisti Luke, LCSW

Suicide Warning Signs

Updated: Mar 9

Man overlooking lake thinking about his life
Man overlooking lake

Understanding the Rise of Suicide Rates

In our nation, the unsettling surge in suicide rates demands our urgent attention and compassionate response. According to recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have seen a distressing increase of over 30% since the turn of the millennium. The toll is staggering, with nearly 45,000 lives lost to suicide in 2016 alone. Even more distressing is the revelation that suicide now stands as the leading cause of death among youth aged 10-19 in the United States.

The Oklahoma Dilemma: A Closer Look

Within the heartland of Oklahoma, the gravity of the situation is heightened further. Shockingly, Oklahoma presently holds the unenviable rank of the eighth-highest suicide rate among states. The statistics paint a grim picture—every 11 hours, a soul is lost to the depths of despair, leaving behind grieving families and shattered communities, as highlighted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Recognizing the Signs: A Path to Prevention

In light of these troubling realities, it becomes imperative for us to equip ourselves with the knowledge and awareness necessary to identify warning signs of suicidal ideation. While there is no singular cause for suicide, untreated mental health conditions often play a significant role in its tragic outcome.

Common Warning Signs to Watch For:

  • Expressions of Distress: Individuals contemplating suicide may express a sense of hopelessness or purposelessness about the future.

  • Social Withdrawal: A noticeable withdrawal from social activities and isolation from friends and family members may indicate internal turmoil.

  • Behavioral Changes: Look out for unusual behaviors such as giving away prized possessions, increased substance abuse, or seeking means to end one's life.

  • Physical and Emotional Symptoms: Symptoms like increased irritability, depression, agitation, or fatigue may signal underlying distress.

Extending a Helping Hand: Resources for Support

In our collective efforts to combat suicide, we must emphasize the importance of reaching out for help and offering support to those in need. If you or someone you know is struggling, know that help is available.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 provides confidential support round-the-clock. Additionally, you can reach out for assistance via text by sending HOME to 741741 for support from the Crisis Text Line.

A Beacon of Hope: Seeking Professional Assistance

Misti Luke, LCSW, offers a safe harbor in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, providing individual, group, and couples therapy, alongside clinical assessments and consultation. If you or someone you care about is in need of guidance or support, please don't hesitate to reach out by emailing

Final Thoughts: Standing Together in Compassion

In conclusion, let us remember that the information shared here is intended to empower and educate, not to replace professional medical advice. In times of crisis, always prioritize seeking immediate assistance from qualified professionals or emergency services.

Together, through understanding, empathy, and proactive intervention, we can work towards a future where every individual feels valued, supported, and equipped to navigate life's challenges with resilience and hope.



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