love to be able to report that the number of people dying by suicide has
declined, but I can’t. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports
that someone completes suicide every 13.7 seconds. That statistic once again
became much more real for me last week. One of my dearest friends lost a family
member to suicide. The dying are husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. They
have names. They leave behind a myriad of hurting loved ones.
I wanted to
take this opportunity to remind you of who is most at risk for suicide. While
more women make attempts, men are more likely to complete suicide. Native
Americans and White American men are the most susceptible.
are highest for people between the ages of 40 and 59. Ninety percent of people
who die by suicide have a treatable mental illness.
In this economy, so many people are unemployed and
struggling financially. This added burden is often too much for many men who
place their value on their ability to provide for their families. Sometimes
circumstances such as losing a loved one can lead to desperation and suicidal
The depressed are more likely
to contemplate suicide. Someone who has an increase in self-destructive
behaviors such as increased drinking, flying into rages, or cutting may also be
If you know anyone who is facing tremendous stress and
expresses any of these risk factors, give them a little extra TLC. Don’t be
afraid to ask them if they’ve ever thought of hurting themselves. This will not
put the thought in their minds. It might just save a life! If they are thinking about suicide, ask them if they have a plan. If they do, take them to a hospital or doctor immediately.
Being reminded of the gut-wrenching hurt that suicide brings
to friends and family was a wakeup call to me not to become complacent in the battle
to save lives. People need to know that there is hope.
For more information on suicide, check out the American
Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s webpage by clicking here
Labels: Mental Health, Suicide