September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center Offers Free Mental Health Screenings
According to the National Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 90 percent or more of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and to raise awareness of the symptoms and diagnose illness before a suicide attempt occurs, Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center will host free mental health screenings on Wednesday, September 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1691 U.S. Highway 9 in Toms River. The screenings also coincide with the National Suicide Prevention Week, September 8 to 14.
“Suicide is a last resort attempt to escape from feelings of sadness, hopelessness and pain that have become unbearable. A suicidal person may have feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and self-loathing and may not see a way of finding relief,” said Deanna Sperling, RN, MAS, Chief Operating Officer, Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Network.
Stepping Stones is an intensive outpatient program aimed at addressing these unique and broad mental health issues. The program is tailored to treat a wide range of disorders, including depression, anxiety, grief and other mood disorders. For those suffering from co-occurring substance abuse disorders, the program provides addiction recovery groups and other treatment modalities.
Major warning signs for suicide include talking about killing or harming oneself, seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as drugs or weapons, and self-destructive behavior, as well as previous attempts. Other risk factors include substance abuse, family history of suicide attempts, giving away one’s possessions and increased isolation.
“A suicidal person may not ask for help verbally, but may be displaying signs or symptoms that can tell us that they need help. Being well informed and diligent in our interactions may help prevent these unfortunate events,” says Sperling. “If you suspect someone might be at risk for suicide, take it seriously. Express your concern for the suicidal person and tell them specifically what they said or did to make you feel concerned. Engage in a conversation by asking questions and actively encourage the person to see a physician or mental health professional.”
The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers an extensive array of high-quality, clinically-focused programs. These programs include a 100-bed acute care psychiatric facility which provides inpatient and intensive outpatient programs for adults and older adults diagnosed with psychiatric and dual disorders. At the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, the multidisciplinary staff includes experienced professionals in nearly every facet of behavioral health care. This allows us to provide truly customized and highly specialized treatment tracks, as well as programs for the dually diagnosed.
For more information or to schedule an appointment or make a referral, please call the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Access Center, available 24-hours a day, at 1.800.300.0628.