Suicide risk tends to be highest when someone has several risk factors at the same time.
The most frequently cited risk factors for suicide are:
▶ Mental disorders, in particular: depression or bipolar disorder; alcohol or substance abuse or dependence; schizophrenia; borderline or antisocial personality disorder; and conduct disorder (in youth).
▶ Psychotic disorders, with psychotic symptoms in the context of any disorder.
▶ Anxiety disorders.
▶ Impulsivity and aggression, especially in the context of the above mental disorders.
▶ A previous suicide attempt.
▶ Family history of attempted or completed suicide.
▶ A serious medical condition and/or pain.
“It is important to bear in mind that the large majority of people with mental disorders or other suicide risk factors do not engage in suicidal behavior,” the site says.
Aaron Benner of Plattsburgh, a co-worker of Gillen’s, was among those who attended the walk.
“I’m amazed by the bravery of these folks,” he said of Gillen and her family. “I have a lot of respect for them, and I want to come out here and raise awareness.
“Suicide has always been a taboo subject, and events like this help people become more aware of what’s going on. It comes back to communication.”
At the walk, boards carrying photographs, messages and flowers memorialized loved ones whose lives ended by suicide.
“If we educate ourselves and talk about it, we can prevent it,” Gillen said.
“At least that’s my wish, my hope, my prayer.”
To contribute to the campus walk’s goal, go to http://tinyurl.com/cyxhkxt and click on “Donate to this event.” Or reach Edwards at (716) 534-0413 or maggie,firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHERE TO GET HELP
If you're considering suicide, instead get help by calling the following numbers:
For counseling: Clinton County Mental Health, 565-4060. Behavioral Health Services North Adult Clinic, 563-8000 (staffed around the clock). Essex County Mental Health Clinic, 873-3670; after-hour emergencies, (888) 854-3773. In northern Franklin County, around the clock, 483-3261; southern Franklin County, 891-5535.