Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. www.afsp.org/.
Suicide rates increased in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/.
Forty-six percent of people who died by suicide had a diagnosed mental condition. Common contributing factors to suicide in 2015 also include: a relationship problem (42 percent), a recent or upcoming crisis (29 percent), substance abuse (28 precent), a physical health problem (22 percent), and a job or financial problem (16 percent). The CDC reports that suicide is caused by multiple factors.
September is the month to learn more about how to prevent suicide. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. The following observances are recognized: Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month; September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day; and September 10-16 is National Suicide Prevention Week.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September. Help promote awareness by sharing images and graphics on your website and social media accounts. Use #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness.www.nami.org/.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Survivors of Suicide
A survivor of suicide is a family member or friend of a person who died by suicide, according to the American Association of Sucidology. Visit their website for resources at www.suicidology.org/.
Another website is called Survivors of Suicide at www.survivorsofsuicide.com.
“The statistics for suicide in America are disturbingly high. It is tragic not only for the one whose life was cut short, but also for those loved ones left behind after their death. On average, there are 750,000 people a year whose lives are directly impacted by the suicide of a loved one. For many, these effects continue for years, even a lifetime,” according to a 2017 article in Psychology Today. www.psychologytoday.com/.
Global Suicide Prevention
“Suicidal behavior is universal, knows no boundaries so it affects everyone…Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge. Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000
deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.” www.iasp.info/.
The 30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention takes place in 2019. Learn more about The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month raises awareness and encourages education on how to prevent it. How is your country, county, city, community, campus, and school going to promote suicide awareness and prevention in September 2018?
Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.