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September is suicide prevention month, do you know what the warning signs are?

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 5:03 pm | Updated: 9:53 pm, Thu Oct 10, 2013.

The Centers for Disease Control finds suicide accounts for more than 34,000 deaths per year. It is a major public health problem and a leading cause of violent death in the United States, but, it doesn't have to happen. Here are some questions you can ask yourself..

Have you or someone you know lost interest in activities you once enjoyed?

Do you have feeling of hopelessness and depression? Or is a friend giving away treasured possessions?

August first 2007 is a date Suncoast resident Marybeth Grenier will never forget. This was the day her forty-seven year-old brother took his own life.

"He was my hero actually," She said, "He was seven years older than me, and he was my hero, he was very active, he was quarter back in football, and an athlete"

She explained he was going through a rough time, but it never dawned on her that he was contemplating suicide. "He had been divorced he had lost his job, he had lost his boat, he was an avid fisherman he loved boating, and he had financial dilemmas." To add to this their mother was paralyzed for three years, chronically ill with Guillain–Barré syndrome.

Director of Serenity Place at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Michael Fitzgerald, R.N. said, "If a family member has experienced a loss of functioning or a loss of independence or a loss of a family member, something along those lines, it puts them at a greater risk for experiencing the possibility of suicide."

Greniers brothers daily routine also changed. "He became a recluse, and somewhat hibernated and, I believe maybe these were some warning signs," She said. Fitzgerald agreed. "When a person starts to isolate, when a person starts to give away their belongings they begin to experience problems with helplessness and hopelessness, beginning to not find pleasure in the activities they found pleasure in before," He said.

And, Grenier offers hope for those struggling to see light at the end of the tunnel

"you will survive, I'm so blessed and grateful for my friends and support and prayer does work."

If you are concerned about a co-worker, friend, or a family member, and you think they may be considering suicide, you can use the acronym ACT to prevent suicide.

A - Ask the question, are you thinking of killing yourself?

C - Care for your co-worker, listen with compassion and voice your concern.

T - Take action, seek professional help.

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