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Your action could save a life

What could you do in just 12 minutes? If you think about it, it’s not that much time – You could finish a chapter of your favorite book, maybe watch a good video on Youtube, or complete a match in Fortnite but, most importantly, you could save a life. In 2016 the CDC released that suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death in Americans aged 10-34. In that year alone, suicide was responsible for almost 45,000 deaths – that’s 1 death every 12 minutes. Here are 3 simple actions you could take in 12 short minutes to help defy the statistics and potentially save a life.

Action one: Keep all medications under lock and key. 48% of people who have attempted suicide stated they started thinking about attempting suicide within 10 minutes of making the attempt. This impulsivity makes it extremely difficult to identify and intervene as there are little to no prior warning signs. Having any medications, especially prescription medications, under lock and key could mean the difference between life and death. Medication lock boxes are available online and from many pharmacies to ensure a suicide safer home.

Action two: Do not keep lethal doses of medications on hand. Most individuals considering attempting suicide do not go on to use a different method once they are thwarted/restricted from lethal means. The best way to ensure you have safe quantities of medication at home, both prescription and nonprescription, is by speaking with a pharmacist.

Action three: Properly discard any outdated or no longer needed medications. The Defense Suicide Prevention office reports that medications are the most common method of nonfatal suicide attempts. Discarding any expired, unwanted, or unused medication at a military pharmacy in the U.S. or U.S. Territory is essential in ensuring safety for all.

You don’t need a cape to save lives – just a little bit of time, knowledge, and understanding will keep you safe and those around you safe. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, depression, or thoughts of self-harm please contact Kadena Mental Health at 634-3272 or if it’s an emergency contact Kadena’s local law enforcement hotline at 098-961-1911.