DID YOU KNOW THAT ONE American takes their own life every 12 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?
Though the statistics are alarming and the impact of this crisis on friends and loved ones left behind can be unimaginable, we must not lose hope. This September, for National Suicide Prevention Month, we are challenged to increase our efforts to turn the tide of suicide. By educating ourselves on how to identify and help those who may be suicidal, raising awareness about prevention and practicing self-care to create and maintain our own emotional health, we can make a difference.
Extend a Supporting Hand
There is evidence to support that the majority of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of adults in the U.S. believe that most people who die by suicide usually show some signs beforehand. With these numbers in mind, it is clear that lives can be saved if we all take the time to learn the warning signs and best practices for offering support to those in need.
There are several warning signs to look out for in someone who may be suicidal, including:
- Talk about specifically wanting to end one’s life or similar expressions of hopelessness
- Changes in mood, such as becoming more anxious, agitated or depressed
- Increased substance use
- Withdrawal from others
- An intense and increasing level of despair, mental anguish and even physical pain