Risk factors and warning signs of suicide

Caduceus, file photo. (Photo courtesy MGN Online)

(WLUK) -- A local woman is being remembered as an advocate for those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Her organization was called Project Semicolon.

Amy Bleuel died, succumbing to the same stresses she was fighting against.

She was also vocal about her struggles, which she shared on Good Day Wisconsin last year.

"I lost my father to suicide in 2003 and I also have struggled with it throughout my life with multiple suicide attempts." Bleul said.

The 31-year-old took her own life last week.

The Centers for Disease Control's most recent numbers, from 2014, show suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 25 to 34.

And, among all age groups, 42,773 people died by suicide that year.

But why is suicide such a taboo topic? Why do people have such a hard time talking about just talking about it?

"Evidence states that just bringing up suicide in an interview, asking a patient about suicidal thoughts, does not increase a risk for suicidal actions," said Dr. David McMahon a psychiatrist at Bellin Health.

McMahon says there can be warning signs, but they may not be easy to spot.

"Worsening mood symptoms, increasing sadness, feelings of hopelessness, feelings that there's no way out," he said.

McMahon has advice on what you can do to help people in need.

"They should talk to their friend about what's going on. Ultimately, if someone is deemed to be in imminent threat of committing suicide, the best thing to do is to contact authorities, call the police. The police will do a safety check."

As for Bleuel, her organization, Project Semicolon states it's dedicated to helping people struggling with mental illness, suicide, and addiction.

For more information about suicide prevention, click here.

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