Suicide Prevention Awareness: Why Is It Important?
In 2019, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. For people aged 10-34, it’s the second.1 Millions of people are affected by suicide each year, whether they experience suicidal tendencies themselves or someone dies from suicide in their family or friend circle.
Yet, suicide is one of the least spoken about symptoms of mental illness. For this reason, among others, September is officially recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month, during which Americans are encouraged to educate themselves on the subject and find ways to grow awareness among their communities.
National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Suicide Prevention Month runs annually from the 1st to the 30th of September.2 The month is dedicated to learning and understanding more about suicide and ways to prevent it, but also to recognize and give a voice to those affected by suicide no matter the form.
As part of the events held throughout the month, September 5th-11th is also recognized as Suicide Prevention Week, during which awareness campaigns and events usually come to a head and increase their efforts to get their communities involved.
Why Is Suicide Prevention Awareness So Important?
The U.S.’s overall suicide rate has increased by 35% since 1999. More and more people are struggling with mental illnesses and the stresses of daily living. Without anyone to talk to or any resources to help them cope, they are being driven to self-harm and suicide all the more commonly.
Suicide prevention awareness is essential to help everyday people learn the techniques, personal efforts, and ways to reach out that could help them possibly prevent suicide in their loved ones.
How Can I Help?
Even if you are not a trained crisis interventionist, there are ways you can help save lives and grow awareness of the growing number who die by or attempt suicide each year.
Understand the Statistics
Understanding the people who are most affected by suicide can help you identify when someone may need help and how to get them the assistance they need.
Important statistics to know include:3
- 78% of all people who die by suicide are male.
- Of those who die by suicide, at least 46% had been diagnosed with a mental illness.
- 90% were not diagnosed but showed symptoms of mental health disorders.
- Suicidal tendencies are experienced by 18.8%^ of all high school students and nearly 50% of students who identify as LGBTQ+.
Understanding the demographics most affected by suicide can enable you to better help and support those who form part of those demographics.
Recognize the Warning Signs
Recognizing the signs that someone may be having thoughts of suicide could help you save a life.
These signs include:
- Talking about wanting to die
- Exhibiting uncontrolled anger
- Feeling hopeless or desperate
- Giving away important belongings
- Having no sense of purpose
If someone you love or you are experiencing these symptoms or need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or contact the Crisis Text Line by sending HOME to 741741.
Support Organizations Who Are Doing Good
Support groups and crisis centers that are saving lives and bringing hope to people affected by suicide need all the help they can get. Whether you volunteer, donate, or participate in their events, you can help support the people devoted to saving the lives of those in their communities.
Be Active on Social Media
One of the best ways to raise awareness is to post about National Suicide Prevention month on social media. Getting people to have conversations about mental health or talk about suicide could give others the courage to ask for help.
Stigma is one of the greatest barriers for people who require help or therapy. Having an open conversation about the reality of suicide and the mental illnesses that may lead to it could help them come to terms with getting treatment.
If a loved one or you are struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, or you want to know more about suicide prevention, Balance Treatment Center offers a range of programs and services to provide you with the help you need.
For individuals with mental health disorders, Balance Treatment Center offers therapy and counseling in an inpatient or outpatient setting, alongside programs for co-occurring substance use disorders and assistance for people who are simply looking for professional advice.
Whether you need help or would just like to learn more, call our hotline today at 855 414-8100 to talk to a member of our team who is experienced and waiting to provide you with the information you need.Sources: