In 2020, there were 1.20 million suicide attempts. World Suicide Prevention Day is on September 10th, and the goal is to raise awareness to offer help and prevent suicides.
If you want to take action, the first step is learning more about prevention, mental health, and how to raise awareness.
Read on to learn more about these topics and the goals of World Suicide Prevention Month.
When Is Suicide Prevention Month?
National Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th. National Suicide Prevention Week surrounds that day.
In 2008, September was declared National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Organizations here in the US and around the world work together to raise awareness of mental health issues, talk about suicide prevention, and spread the word and resources designed to help.
Statistics to Raise Awareness
Suicide is a significant concern, primarily as individuals with suicidal thoughts do not always address the problem with doctors or mental health professionals.
According to the CDC, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, causing one death every eleven minutes.
The number of people with suicidal thoughts is even higher. According to that same data, in 2020 alone, 12.2 million Americans seriously considered suicide, and 1.2 million people attempted it.
Although it may not be the first thought that comes to mind when someone takes their life, suicide also has a negative financial impact. Nearly 7,000 youth commit suicide each year, resulting in an economic impact of $5.53 billion.
The sad reality is that suicide affects all age ranges. It also has a far-reaching impact. It affects families, friends, workplaces, economies, and more.
Suicide was the second leading cause of death in the United States for individuals between 10-14 and 25-34 years old. When these young people take their lives, it creates a massive ripple effect that impacts many people.
The Goals of Suicide Prevention Organizations
The primary goals of any suicide prevention organization are to raise awareness and offer resources. These resources might be more information or connection with a trained crisis professional.
During the month and all year long, these organizations and networks strive to reach as many people as possible, especially those struggling with mental health problems, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Sadly, many people still consider suicide a taboo subject. We must speak about the issue to start making changes.
People struggling with suicidal thoughts may not feel comfortable opening up. They might have a fear of rejection. We need to make sure they feel comfortable going to places where someone is there to help them and offer support.
What Causes Suicidal Thoughts?
Many factors can contribute to suicidal thoughts. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance problems will increase the risk of suicide.
Risk factors include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Substance use issues
- Conduct disorder
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe health conditions and pain
- Prolonged stress
- Exposure to suicide or accounts of suicide
- Family history of suicide
- Childhood abuse or trauma
Additionally, depression and a higher risk of suicidal thoughts are side effects of more than 200 drugs. If taking a prescription results in any unexpected changes in mood or thoughts of suicide, speak with your doctor immediately.
If you’re dealing with depression or feelings of hopelessness and despair, it’s crucial to get help. There are many treatment options, such as therapy, medications, and TMS for depression.
The good news is that many associations offer resources to those in need. Whether you have depression, anxiety, or simply feel lonely, there are people there to help.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a suicide prevention network in the United States. It has 24/7 service, and it’s toll-free when someone dials 9-8-8. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or in need of immediate support can call anytime.
A trained crisis worker will talk to you, understand your problem, and provide resources to help.
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is a US Department of Health and Human Services agency that strives to advance the study and support of behavioral health. Individuals can find information on mental disorders, look up services, and find a professional to help.
The AAS (American Association of Suicidology) consists of mental health and public health professionals, intervention centers, volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, and more. AAS’s mission is to raise awareness of mental health challenges, prevent suicide, and offer ways to help.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website has information and resources to help with suicide awareness and prevention. NIMH also performs research on suicide and prevention.
Ways to Help
Raising awareness in your community during World Suicide Prevention Month is an excellent way to help. Talk to people you know, such as friends, family, and co-workers. Ask how they’re doing and actively listen.
If anyone mentions feeling depressed, provide them with resources to trained professionals.
Educate yourself on mental health issues and learn to show compassion.
Volunteering is one of the best ways to help the cause. Organizations often have initiatives going on or ways you can get involved. Even sharing information on social media can assist someone in need!
Finally, take steps to correct misunderstandings. Suicide is a very real threat and should never be treated as a taboo subject. We must address the problem and provide access to resources to help reduce suicide rates and get people the help they deserve.
The Fight for Suicide Prevention
Suicide prevention is all about taking action and addressing serious issues while offering support. Although September is Suicide Prevention Month, you can take action all year to help improve suicide prevention efforts.
One option for those experiencing depression is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). View our clinic locations or schedule a consultation to learn more about this non-invasive therapy option.