By Felicia Farnsworth
The month of September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a time to raise awareness about this ever growing, often taboo, topic.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition.
Seventy-Eight percent of all people who die by suicide are male. Although more women then men attempt suicide, men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide.
Forty-Six percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition. Almost twelve percent are ages 18-25 and 18.8% are high school students.
The Jason Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the “silent epidemic” of youth and young adult suicide through educational programs for young people, educators, parents, and other community groups.
The CDC released that last year 19% of high school youth had considered attempting suicide, 16% had made a suicide plan, and 9% had made one or more suicide attempts.
With more than 47,500 Americans who have died by their own hand, suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in this nation. As of 2019, suicide is the second leading cause of death among those ages 10-34. CAMS (The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality) is one of a handful of evidence-based suicide-focused treatments being used successfully around the world by thousands of clinicians to help reduce suicidal ideation, helplessness, and overall symptom distress, in only 6-8 sessions.
As early as June 2022, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will respond to the easy-to-remember, accessible “988” phone number - a suicide and mental health crisis equivalent of the 911 emergency service line.
The Lifeline, and a network of crisis call centers across the U.S., respond to millions of individuals and their family members who suffer with suicidal distress and mental health emergencies every year.
Ways to help reduce the numbers of suicide include; 1.) Know the warning signs, 2.) Have meaningful social connections, 3.) Identify whether you or someone else has specific mental health needs, 4.) Seek help for yourself or someone else, 5.) Reducing access to lethal weapons, and 6.) Get involved with a suicide program or counselor.
Please remember, just because someone seems happy, a lot of times they are hiding their true feelings.
Talking to a friend or loved one often times helps but if you feel the need to inflict pain upon or harm yourself, or if you have contemplated suicide, please call The Nation Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255(TALK) or text NAMI to 741-741. You don’t have to go through this alone. There are people who can help.