National Suicide Prevention Month
By: Andre Amaro, Masters Level Intern
Suicide has become one of the biggest health problems that we are facing in today’s world, as it is becoming a bigger issue as mental health issues continue to rise. Suicide involves a person hurting themselves with the intent to die and end their life. According to the CDC, suicide is one of the most leading causes of death in the United States and statistics from 2020 report that at least 1 person dies from suicide every 11 minutes. Statistics from 2020 according to the CDC also report that 12.2 million people thought about suicide, 3.2 million people had a plan for suicide, and at least 1.2 million people attempted suicide. While there are not too many statistics available for the current year 2022 regarding suicide; it is expected that these numbers may be similar, if not have possibly increase over the last few years. Many of us may know someone who may have attempted suicide or may actually know someone who has committed suicide. Some of these individuals may be our family, friends, significant others, neighbors, or maybe other individuals who were very close to us. The month of September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and this is a great time to spread awareness about suicide and help prevent suicide or suicide attempts for people within our communities.
Suicide affects people of all ages and mostly occurs after the age of 10. People commit suicide for many different reasons, such as a result of severe depression and anxiety, substance abuse, bullying or teasing, negative experiences such as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and many other traumatic related situations. For whatever the reason might be why one might want to commit suicide; it is important for everyone to know that suicide is something that can be prevented. It first starts by paying attention and noticing some of the warning signs of suicide. One of the most noticeable signs of suicide is if a person displays negative moods on a regular basis, such as they appear very sad, depressed, anxious, and irritable/angry most of the time. Along with these moods, you may hear or notice an individual talk about not wanting to be alive or talk about death occasionally. In regard to behaviors, you may notice a person may start to engage in self-harm as you may recognize cuts, scrapes, bruises, or more on visible parts of their body. Substance use is another sign, as individuals who may want to commit suicide may engage or increase their substance use as a way to escape their emotional pain. Other noticeable signs of suicide may be a person withdraws or isolate themselves from activities and others or may want to oversleep and stay in bed most of the time. They may even become aggressive towards others if they are extremely irritated. Regardless of why one might want to commit suicide, noticing the warning signs is important in order to prevent someone from taking their own life.
National Suicide Prevention Month is a great time for everyone to bring awareness towards this major health issue. I believe creating a safe and comfortable for our communities and helping those who may be struggling from severe mental health issues, is one of the biggest things that we can all do together in order to prevent the suicide rates from increasing. I encourage everyone to checkup on your loved ones and help someone if you notice they may be going through a difficult time. Report to someone if you notice that they are not doing well and encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional if they are struggling. Talking to people and staying connected, providing individuals who may be at risk of suicide a sense of comfort and support so that they have people who they can talk to through difficult times, can easily go a long way and help prevent the risk of suicide. Additionally, teaching individuals how to cope with their issues in healthier ways and build upon their problem-solving skills, while also staying connected and engaged with others can greatly decrease their risk of suicide and increase their motivation to seek help. If you or a loved one may be struggling from severe depression or anxiety, that you feel may lead to suicidal tendencies; please reach out to Inner Courage Counseling so that you can schedule a session with me or one of our other trained mental health professionals so that we can help you! And if you are thinking of committing suicide, please contact 911 for emergency, or reach out to someone immediately, or even contact 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my post and lets all do our best to spread awareness towards the issue of suicide for the month of September!