Suicide knows no boundaries. It can affect any age group, ethnicity or race. It has nothing to do with your income or education. Suicide can become a tragedy for anyone.
The Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Coalition (ASPARC) became a non-profit organization in 2011. Originally known as the Alabama Suicide Prevention Task Force, the group first met in 2001 after the Surgeon General released a Call to Action to Prevent Suicide. Read the history of the Task Force for more information on how the group was formed.
This website is offered as a service of ASPARC. ASPARC is a collaborative coalition of persons and organizations interested in suicide prevention who represent the public and private sectors, community agencies, experts and universities, hospitals, child protection advocates, professional associations, and citizens. We promote initiatives such as a Speakers Bureau, and intervention and prevention programs such as gatekeeper training, faith-based training and awareness about suicide. ASPARC is also involved in the development of a resource directory, the formation of bereavement groups, legislative efforts for suicide awareness and prevention, and a faith-based initiative.
This website can link you to available statistics about suicide, warning signs and risk factors for suicide, websites of local and national help centers for those who are actually suicidal, resources for those grieving from the loss of a significant other to suicide, and more. Please contact us via email or at (205) 480-9400 for training opportunities, speakers, or volunteer opportunities with ASPARC or at a crisis center near you.
The National Crisis Hotline
If you are worried about someone, or if you yourself are feeling vulnerable or suicidal, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You may also want to check out these related help links and, most importantly, seek help as soon as possible from a mental health professional. Professionals include counselors, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists in private practices, at your Employee Assistance Program, or in community agencies. Consider church-affiliated counseling centers, pastoral care centers, United Way agencies, and your primary care physician and/or emergency room. If you are struggling to find the right professional, please tell a trusted family member or friend about your feelings and ask that they help you to find help quickly. You can also review this list to find a Crisis Center near you.
Do Not Stop Asking For Help
Note: If you or someone else is imminently suicidal - on the verge of suicide - please take yourself or the other person to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 911. Suicide is final. There is no going back. There is no chance to reconsider the act of suicide. It is "The Forever Decision" (Paul Quinnett, PhD).
Why Do People Become Suicidal?
Please know that feeling suicidal can result from a variety of risk factors and personal conditions that combine to make a person feel hopeless and believe that it is impossible to change the situation. Help is available. Most suicide attempters do not complete suicide and are grateful that they did not die.
Major risk factors for suicidal behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- A history of depression, bipolar disorder or other mental illness diagnoses;
- a serious personal loss or number of losses and defeats taken personally;
- low self-esteem and self-loathing;
- social isolation;
- believing there is no hope for feeling better;
- chronic alcohol or other drug use; and
- easy access to the means for dying, such as guns.
Usually, suicide is the result of a combination of these factors. Help is available, and you do not have to suffer emotional or psychological pain alone. Many people feel so despondent and hopeless that they believe only suicide will end the pain. Yes, suicide is a permanent solution to what often are temporary problems. Please ask for help now.