Seek help to prevent suicide

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2007

On average, a suicide occurs in the United States every 16 minutes.

It is the 11th leading cause of death for all Americans and the third leading cause of death for young people.

On Saturday in Birmingham, about 70 Selma residents representing the friends and family of the late Dr. Benjamin Donaldson “Donny” Buster participated in “Out of the Darkness,” a three to five mile walk to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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The money raised goes toward research for people who suffer from mental illnesses such as depression. The walk is nationwide and to this date has raised more than $1 million – $8,516 of which was raised by the “Family and friends of Donny Buster” team.

More than 30,000 people die in the United States each year from suicide.

There are steps that can be taken to prevent suicide. If you need someone to talk to, call 1-800-273-TALK. Call if you:

& Have suicidal thoughts

& For information on suicide

& If you are suffering from abuse or violence

& For information on mental health/illness

& To help a friend or loved one

& If you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction

& For relationships/family problems

& For economic problems.

Warnings signs include appearing depressed or sad; feeling hopeless; withdrawing from family; sleeping too much or too little; feeling tired most of the time; gaining or losing a significant amount of weight, acting irrationally and other unusual activities.

If you or someone you care about is struggling, don’t hesitate to seek help.