Suicide prevention/awareness month isn’t technically until October. But I wanted to address it this month because it so often is the result of untreated mental health issues. Having suicidal thoughts doesn’t make someone weak or flawed. It can be a result of many factors.
According to NAMI:
According to the CDC, each year more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of their loss. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24; these rates are increasing.
Risk Factors For Suicide
Research has found that about 90% of individuals who die by suicide experience mental illness. A number of other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:
- A family history of suicide.
- Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can result in mental highs and lows that exacerbate suicidal thoughts.
- Intoxication. More than one in three people who die from suicide are found to be currently under the influence.
- Access to firearms.
- A serious or chronic medical illness.
- Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are four times more likely to die by suicide.
- A history of trauma or abuse.
- Prolonged stress.
- Age. People under age 24 or above age 65 are at a higher risk for suicide.
- A recent tragedy or loss.
- Agitation and sleep deprivation.
Know this, suicide is a side effect of mental illness. Wanting to be free of pain, is a natural reaction. Finding ways to support your loved ones through this is not easy, open communication is important. And a plan of action for a crisis is essential in this most ultimate situation.
Either 911 or a local crisis center, many are open 24/7 and take walk-ins.
I’m not a doctor or licensed therapist. As always in the event of an emergency, dial 911.