Suicide Prevention Month
September was National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is a topic that does not need to be taken lightly and should be talked about rather than silenced like many think. This year, it should be talked about even more as our world is in a pandemic. This has caused the numbers of those suffering from anxiety and depression to skyrocket. It is a time that brings a lot of fear, sorrow, along with the many unknowns around the virus itself and the economy.
For me, this topic is more than a good cause, but it is also personal as I have lost loved ones to suicide. I am a strong proponent of knowledge is power and talking openly about it to remove the stigma that it still holds today. Many people think that talking about it will only make someone follow through with their plans, but talking about it can help someone who is suffering to realize that they are not alone.
Knowing that alone is a huge factor in saving a life.
Did you know that:
75% of all people who die by suicide are male.
Although more women attempt than men, men are nearly 4x’s more likely to die by suicide.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-54.
The overall suicide rate in the U.S has increased by 31% since 2001.
10% of young adults say they experienced suicidal thoughts in the last year.
Mental Health Warning Signs:
Unsure of what to look for in your loved one or yourself when it comes to warning signs? It is hard to tell the difference at times between what are normal behaviors for someone dealing with mental health concerns or even what a normal behavior is for a person in general. Helping someone get help who may be quietly suffering from mental health concerns is key in helping them know they are not alone.
Here are some things to look for:
- Excessive worry or fear
- Feeling overly sad or low
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as eating more than usual or eating less than usual
- Changes in sex drive
- Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations)
- Overuse of substance like alcohol or drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious cause (such as stomach issues, headaches, aches, and pains)
- Thinking about suicide
- Inability to carry out day to day activities
Do you know how to talk about it or where to turn in a time of need? Here are some helpful places to go when looking for help for a loved one or for yourself.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK, this line provides free, confidential crisis counseling 24/7/365.
- Crisis text line is free 24/7 mental health support that does not require you to talk to someone even verbally. Text “NAMI” to 741741 for help.
- Always call 911 if you or a loved one is in danger.