September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Raising awareness about suicide is important to help end the stigma surrounding mental health. Suicide is a public health concern that can leave devastating effects on communities, families, and individuals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States with 46,000 deaths recorded in 2020. The suicide rate was 30% lower in 2000 as compared to 2020. Studies completed in 2020 revealed that the number of adults who had suicidal thoughts was 12.2 million, 3.2 million of those adults had a suicide plan and of those individuals, 1.2 million did in fact attempt suicide.
Raising awareness of suicide prevention is so important. However, every community encounters challenges when it comes to mental health which include a lack of access to mental health services and the stigma associated with mental illnesses among high-risk individuals.
What are some risk factors for suicide?
– People who are victims of violence
– People who have experienced child abuse or childhood trauma
– People who are bullied
– People who have been victims of sexual abuse
– History of suicide attempts
– History of depression or other mental health illnesses
– People who suffer from chronic pain or other serious illnesses
– Substance abuse disorder
– Legal problems
– Job loss or financial problems
– Impulsive or aggressive individuals
– Family history of suicide
– Social isolation
– Loss of relationships
– Violent relationships
What are some warning signs for suicide?
– Increased anxiety
– Talking about suicide or being a burden
– Increased substance use
– Social isolation
– Mood swings
– Increased anger
– Feeling of hopelessness
– Sleeping more often than normal or not sleeping much at all
– Talking about wanting to die
– Making a suicide plan
What can individuals do to help reduce the risks of suicide?
– Develop effective ways to cope with stress
– Develop good problem-solving skills
– Focus on the reasons for living
– Having a good support system from family and friends
– Feeling a connection to others that you can reach out to if needed
– Support through local schools and the community resources
– Availability and access to mental health services within your community
Do you or someone you know need help?
If you or someone you know is suffering contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Call or text 988 or go to 988lifeline.org. Let’s end the stigma by raising awareness of mental health concerns. Suicide is preventable, it is important for people to know they are not alone and that there are many resources to help.
Darci Moore is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at Fayette County Public Health. For more information about local mental health resources, contact Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health at 740-335-6935.