September marks National Suicide Prevention and Awareness month. All month long, mental health advocates, prevention organizations and community members join forces to recognize the mental health …
September marks National Suicide Prevention and Awareness month. All month long, mental health advocates, prevention organizations and community members join forces to recognize the mental health crises facing millions of Americans.
It’s a time when we recognize and remember all the individuals and families who have been impacted by suicide. The hope and prayer is that together we can end the stigma of mental illness and begin a conversation that can lead to lives being saved.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background, but there are some people who are at greater risk.
According to NAMI, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the 10th leading cause of death in the United States overall. Around 78 percent of all people who die by suicide are male.
NAMI says that lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth and transgender people are 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
The overall suicide rate in the United States has increased 30 percent since 1999.
These are all sobering statistics, but the point of knowing and being aware of them is so we can take action to reverse these trends. Sometimes it’s just hard to begin the conversation.
The pandemic has impacted just about every aspect of our lives, but it’s been hard on people who need treatment for mental health issues. It’s caused people to feel more isolated and alone. Maybe they’ve lost a family member to the pandemic or lost their employment and means to support themselves. They can turn on the news and see the deep and bitter divisions in our society. All of these things can contribute to a sense of hopelessness.
But where there is life there is always hope.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, there are resources available.
In the event of an emergency, always dial 911. For non-emergency situations related to mental health or substance use, you may contact the Sullivan County Department of Community Services at 845-292-8770.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24-hours a day at 800-273-8255.
To learn more about prevention or learn more about the National Alliance on Mental Illness, visit www.nami.org.