”I think suicide is sort of like cancer was 50 years ago. People don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want to know about it. People are frightened of it, and they don’t understand, when actually these issues are treatable.”
~ Judy Collins
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. It is crucial that people begin to pay more attention to this growing epidemic. In the United States alone, approximately 44,000 people commit suicide every year! It is now the tenth leading cause of death for adults and the third leading cause of death for teenagers! People who are suffering feel like they are filled with darkness and are confused about what is happening and why. It may cause them to feel as if they cannot go on. Often times people who have suicidal thoughts don't think they can speak to others about their problems or get the help that they need. This, however, can make a suicide extremely devastating for their friends and family.
The purpose of Suicide Prevention Month is to raise awareness to help prevent suicide and decrease its rates. Take advantage of this valuable time to educate yourself and others on the signs and symptoms, as well as what to do if someone you know is feeling this way. Common signs of suicidal thoughts/behavior include:
-Talking about suicide
-Being preoccupied with violence and death
-Increased use of drugs/alcohol
-Always wanting to be alone
-Drastic mood swings
-Abnormal eating and/or sleeping patterns
-Giving away personal belongings, especially prized possessions
-Feelings of complete hopelessness; feeling like you can’t possibly be in a worse position and that nothing will ever get better.
If you ever feel that suicide is the way to end your problems, seek professional help immediately. Reach out to trusted adults, family members, and friends; people who are willing to listen to what you have to say. You can even call the Suicide Prevention hotline, where professional counselors are available 24/7. Listen without judgement if someone you know needs help, and make sure a trusted adult in the family is aware. Listening, and maybe faith in a higher power, could be what that person needs to give life a second chance. We all matter and have a purpose. Courage up today and help save a life!
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255