September is National Suicide Awareness Month
The month of September is recognized as National Suicide Awareness Month.
This year, spreading awareness of suicide is particularly important, as many people are starting to come out of lockdown. As Life Balance Expert Julie Frumin explains, “While many people are grateful to be returning to ‘normal’ life, others may be experiencing an increase in anxiety at the prospect of getting back out there. If you suspect a loved one is struggling, it’s important to reach out and not shy away from checking in. Sometimes a small gesture like this is all it takes to shift the tide. If you yourself are struggling, please let someone know. You are not alone and you deserve to feel better..”
If you want to get involved with World Suicide Prevention Day, check out these ideas from the International Association for Suicide Prevention, including resources you can share on your social media pages and ideas for hosting an event.
How Common is Suicide?
The statistics surrounding suicide are sobering. Suicide is the 10th most common cause of death in the United States, with an average of 132 people dying of it every day in the U.S. An additional 1.4 million Americans attempt suicide every year.
Suicide is often associated with mental illness. Studies have found that 90 percent of people who die by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition, although many were undiagnosed at the time of their death.
Certain groups of people may be more likely to die by suicide. For example, men are more than three times as likely to die by suicide, while women are more likely to attempt suicide. In addition, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 34, and the suicide rate is higher for veterans than for non-veterans.
We can all work together to prevent suicide in our families and communities. If you are concerned someone you know is considering suicide, let them know you care about them and they are not alone.
Contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline any time at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with them at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. This anonymous lifeline is available for anyone considering suicide as well as those who care about them to offer resources and support.
Suicide Risk Factors
The first step to preventing suicide is recognizing the risk factors of suicide. These are characteristics that a person has that can make it more likely they will commit suicide.
- History of abuse
- History of trauma
- Substance misuse or abuse
- History of suicide in the family
- History of previous suicide attempts
- Chronic illness, including chronic pain
- Access to a lethal weapon, such as a knife or gun
- Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression
- Exposure to others’ suicidal behaviors (especially for youth and teens)
- Significant losses or failures, such as a death of a loved one, financial difficulties, bullying, etc.
Often, a recent stressor can serve as the tipping point that convinces someone to commit suicide. For example, a person with depression and a history of abuse may endure the pain of an ended relationship and be unable to see another way out.
Suicide Warning Signs
These warning signs indicate that someone is seriously considering suicide. Take protective measures if someone you know is showing any of these.
- Reckless behavior
- Dramatic mood changes
- Withdrawal from society
- Talking about feeling trapped
- Increased substance misuse or abuse
- Frequently talking about death or suicide
- Commenting on feeling hopeless or worthless
We Want You to Be Well
For a lot of people, stress levels are at an all-time high right now. If you feel overwhelmed, you aren’t alone.
Our lifestyle consultations at the California Institute of Health and Longevity are designed to help you manage stress and create balance with yourself and others. Schedule an appointment with a lifestyle expert today.