BALTIMORE (September 10, 2013) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) joins the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in recognizing National Suicide Prevention Week, September 8th – 14th.   This year's campaign encourages people to reach out through their community circles on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to highlight prevention efforts and link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.facebook.com/800273TALK.

"We encourage people to participate in this campaign designed to educate and save lives, said Dr. Gayle Jordan-Randolph, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Disabilities. "Suicide is preventable with knowledge and resources."
As part of the national effort, a Candle-Lighting ceremony is planned for TONIGHT, September 10th at 8 p.m.  Individuals are asked to light a candle or flameless candle at 8:00 p.m. and to post a photo on the Lifeline Facebook page at  http://www.facebook.com/800273TALK.
“We applaud this social media initiative that also includes an activity - Badge Bingo - designed to help boost support networks," said Dr. Brian Hepburn, Director of DHMH's Mental Hygiene Administration.  "The educational game rewards players who earn 10 badges." 
Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in Maryland.  Risk factors do not predict a suicide but are characteristics that make it more likely that an individual will consider, attempt, or die by suicide.
Risk factors may include:  hopelessness, impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies, isolation, alcohol and/or other substance use, financial loss, and family history of suicide.  Warning signs of someone at risk of suicide may include:  talking about wanting to die, talking about no reason to live, talking about being a burden to others, increasing use of alcohol and drugs, withdrawing, displaying extreme mood swings, and sleeping little or too much.
Spread the word. Post prevention activities, play Badge Bingo, and post or add a link to suicide hotline numbers:  Maryland’s hotline network 1-800-422-0009 and the National Suicide Hotline number 1-800-273-TALK. 

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