Suicide Prevention Month
By Jessica Wu, Contributing Writer
Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, age, or ethnicity. Unfortunately, every year, thousands of people end their own lives. A good portion of the time, friends, and family affected by the suicide are left in the dark. Feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from openly conversing about the situation or from getting the assistance they need. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is a month to share resources and shed light on the reality of suicide, as it can often be stigmatized or glamorized.
These are some facts and statistics concerning suicide. Use these to encourage discussion within your community, friends, or family. Spread awareness about the reality of suicide and how detrimental it is.
75% percent of people who commit suicide are male
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people 10-34 years old. In addition, it is the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-54 years old.
The overall suicide rate has increased by 31 percent in the U.S. since 2001
While half of people who choose to end their lives have a diagnosed mental health condition, 90 percent show symptoms
LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth
How can you help?
Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline throughout your local community or social media platforms. It is an important lifeline that everyone should know about. Have conversations with friends and family about suicide prevention and help to educate others on the issue. If you become aware that a loved one in your life is having suicidal thoughts, first attempt to talk to them about their feelings. Make sure they feel loved, important, and heard. Encourage them to seek treatment or help. If they are in immediate danger, call 911.
Signs and Symptoms
These signs/symptoms may indicate that someone is thinking of suicide.
Talking about death
Talking about having no reason to live, displaying hopelessness
Making an exit plan, such as overstocking on pills or buying a gun
Withdrawing from friends and family
Talking about feeling trapped
Taking great risks that could lead to death
Displaying extreme mood swings
Saying goodbye to friends or family
Giving away important possessions
Making a will
If someone you know exhibits any of these signs, get help as soon as possible.
Listed below are some crisis services:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the U.S.
Here are some suicide prevention organizations and more resources:
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
National Institute of Mental Health
Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education