BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and those numbers are climbing. According to the CDC, suicide rates are up 2.6% from 2021 to 2022.

This can be a hard topic to bring up, no matter how close you may be to someone that is exhibiting signs of concern.

But being direct in asking if a loved one is considering suicide after observing signs may save their life, according to Javon Kemp, 988 Unit Supervisor at Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.

Kemp joined 17 News at Sunrise to talk about what signs to look for as well as what actions to take if you believe a loved one may be considering suicide.

If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal ideation or a mental health crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.