Suicide rates are higher in southwestern Virginia than other parts of the state, and it is the third leading cause of death among young people 15-24 years old. Carilion Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Anita Kablinger works with young people who are dealing with depression and says suicide can be prevented if they receive treatment. She says there are four important things parents can do:
Be aware of what is happening in your child’s life.
Don’t just take your child’s word for how they are feeling, talk to others who know your child.
Watch for changes in behavior. Behavioral changes are the #1 predictor of suicide in young people.
If a young person says they want to die, take it seriously immediately.
If there is an active threat of suicide, immediate help is available 24/7 by calling CONNECT at 800-284-8898.
“It is very prevalent all the time,” said Dr. Anita Kablinger, director of residency training for Carilion Clinic’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Carilion’s 32-bed psychiatric unit averages about 200 admissions a month. More than half, about 52 percent, of the patients there have seriously considered or attempted suicide, Kablinger said.
Kablinger is hopeful that the death of Williams will prompt more people struggling with depression, or their loved ones, to seek help.
“People are vastly under-treated,” she said. “I take care of people who are treatment-resistant, or depressed. People should know they can get good care and good treatment, and everybody needs to be a part of that.”
And the need is likely to increase, she said, citing a World Health Organization study that projects by 2030, depression will be the world’s leading cause of disability and death, outpacing cancer, stroke and accidents.
Read the rest of the article here.