September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Suicide is an international problem and a major public health concern. National Suicide Prevention Week is September 10 through 16, 2017. This year’s theme is “Take a Minute, Save a Life.”
Suicide and suicidal behavior affects individuals of all ages, genders, races and religions across the planet. By the numbers:
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring on average every 11.9 minutes.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds.
- The elderly make up 14.5% of the population, but comprise 16.6% of all suicides.
- Approximately 1,104,825 Americans attempt suicide each year.
- It is estimated that 5.1 million living Americans have attempted to kill themselves.
- Every year in the United States, more than 22,018 men and women kill themselves with a gun; two-thirds more than the number who use a gun to kill another person.
- An estimated 6.5 million Americans are survivors of suicide of a friend, family member, or loved one.
Risk factors for suicide remain essentially the same from country to country. Mental illness, substance abuse, previous suicide attempts, hopelessness, access to lethal means, recent loss of loved ones, unemployment and vulnerability to self-harm are just few examples of risk factors. Protective factors are also the same in all corners of the world. High self-esteem, social connectedness, problem-solving skills, supportive family and friends are all examples of factors that buffer against suicide and suicidal behaviors.
If you are feeling suicidal, or are concerned about someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org to text/chat.