September is National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. Suicide can be prevented, but it’s up to everyone to learn the warning signs and help those with suicidal thoughts and feelings. One way you can help lower the suicide rate is to have a dialogue. Having open conversations about mental health and emotional struggles helps reduce the stigma associated with suicides, which also prevents a lot of people from seeking the help they need.
- Over 44, 000 Americans die by suicide every year.
- Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for people 18-65.
- For every death by suicide, there are over 25 suicide attempts.
- Men are 4 times more likely than women to die by suicide.
- Men who struggle with substance abuse are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide.
- 80% of teens who die by suicide show warning signs.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in people ages 10-34-years-old.
- 90% of teens who die by suicide have a mental health problem.
- 41% of trans gender adults have attempted suicide.
- LGBTQ+ individuals with families who do not accept their lifestyles are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide.
- Talks about wanting to die
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talks about having no reason to live
- Giving away prized possessions
- Acting anxious or agitated
- Talks about being in unbearable pain
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Showing rage or seeking revenge
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Showing a lack of interest in future plans
How to help someone with suicidal thoughts
ASK – Ask the person if they think about dying or killing themselves. LISTEN – Start a conversation with the person and listen without judging to show you care. Create a safe space for them to share their feelings and vent. STAY – Don’t leave the person alone. Stay with them or make sure they are in a private and secure place with another caring person until you can get further help. SECURE – If you suspect the person could be a harm to themselves, take them seriously by removing any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt. CALL – Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and follow their guidance. If danger for self-harm seems immediate, call 911.
If you have lost a loved one to suicide, the impact can be intense and overwhelming. Know that you don’t have to cope alone. Talk to a caring professional or join a support group to help you heal and move forward.
Source: Centers for Disease Control