Colleton Medical Center
September 06, 2023

Colleton Medical Center lights the night purple and teal to bring awareness to Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide is a serious public health concern. More than 700,000 people die due to suicide every year, according to the World Health Organization. Fortunately, suicide can be prevented by learning the warning signs, breaking the stigma associated with mental illness, and providing support to those who are at risk.

Studies show suicide is higher among people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, sexual violence, depression, anxiety, and other emotional or financial stresses. “We know who in our circles we should be checking on more frequently and there are ways to protect our loved ones. First and foremost it is support from family and community, feeling connected, and having access to in-person or virtual counseling or therapy can help with suicidal thoughts and behavior,” said Dr. Charles Shissias, Colleton Medical Center’s Psychiatry Medical Director. “Often times suicides happen in moments of crisis and inability to cope with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.”

Colleton Medical Center has caregivers who can help 24/7. Or you can call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which offers free, confidential suicide and crisis counseling. There is also a live chat feature at “If you're concerned about someone, trust your instincts and consider it an emergency,” Dr. Shissias advises. “When you take action, the worst-case scenario is that people go to the ER and they're okay and referred for outpatient care,” he points out. “But the best-case scenario is that you save a life.”

“If you are the caregiver or a loved one of someone who is having suicidal thoughts, it's equally important to make sure you are taking care of yourself and your own mental health,” Dr. Shissias says. "It's not uncommon for someone to seek therapy for themselves because of the experience they've had caring for a loved one with mental illness.”

Additional Resources

Veterans Crisis Line
Call 988 then press 1 or text 838255
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans and those who support them, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare.

Disaster Distress Helpline 
Call or text 1-800-985-5990

The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to a natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Español: Llama o envía un mensaje de tex to 1-800-985-5990 presiona “2.”

For Deaf and Hard of Hearing ASL Callers: To connect directly to an agent in American Sign Language call 1-800-985-5990 from your videophone. ASL Support is available 24/7.