Suicide Awareness and Prevention
Last week, we tragically lost two prominent people, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, due to suicide. These unfortunate celebrity deaths have once again brought our attention to a somewhat "taboo" topic. Each year, nearly 45,000 Americans take their own lives. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. According to CDC researchers, "Suicide rates in the United States have risen nearly 30 percent since 1999, and mental health conditions are one of several factors contributing to suicide. Suicide rates increased among both sexes, all racial/ethnic groups, and all urbanization levels." Contributing factors, in addition to mental health, include relationship stress, financial troubles and substance abuse.
Knowing it can be hard to imagine the internal pain that pushes someone to view suicide as the only way out, we should all be prepared to help those in need recognize that there is hope. If we can help them see another way out, we may save a life. During such a sensitive time, It is vital to understand that asking someone if they are thinking about suicide will not encourage them to attempt it. Being brave enough to raise the concern can aid in opening the discussion and provide an opportunity to offer support and resources. Reach out, listen openly, and let them know you are here to help them.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available. Encourage them to get help and/or direct them to resources such as:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor anytime — 24/7. The Lifeline is free, confidential, and available to everyone in the United States. You don’t have to be suicidal to call.
Crisis Text Line
In crisis? Text “WORDS” to 741741 to text with a trained Crisis Counselor for free, 24/7 from anywhere in the US.