“Suicide is a serious thing. And if you know anyone who is suicidal, you need to get them help. No one should be in pain. Everyone should love themselves.” – Gerard Way
Suicide is such a touchy subject, that a lot of us don’t speak on enough because honestly, it makes us uncomfortable. We don’t notice the signs of the people closest to us until it’s too late or sometimes we choose to ignore them. Since 1999 suicide rates have increased by 25% and is one of the top ten leading causes of death. More than half of the people who commit suicide are not diagnosed with mental illness. On average there are 123 suicides per day with one person dying every five hours. Twice as many people die from suicide than homicide annually in New York alone. The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged people but lately, the rate in children and teens has increased by 30%.
Suicide has become the second leading cause of death in today’s youth. Since the recent death of designer Kate Spade and then celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain it has brought more awareness to this nationwide issue. New federal data has been released showing how drastically suicide rates have been climbing for years in the United States, certain states are worse than others. With easy access to guns and lack of mental health resources, it has become harder to bring the rates down. Even though untreated mental health is a major risk factor there are many other risks that we could prevent, just by being loving and supportive to those close to us.
What leads to suicide? Stressful life events, bullying, tremendous loss and lack of acceptance, are all some other major factors. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide. Some warning signs to look out for when you feel someone you know may be suicidal is; change of behavior or entirely new behaviors. You should be most concerned if this person has suffered some type of loss or traumatizing event. Anyone who is suicidal exhibits more than one sign, either through what they say or what they do. Some of the behaviors that signal risk are increased alcohol/drug abuse, aggression, lack of sleep or excessive sleep, isolation, and reaching out to tell loved ones goodbye. Ways to prevent suicide; is to be a positive energy to those who feel they don’t have what it takes to fight what they feel is an impossible ongoing battle. It is also essential to recognize that a lot of suicides are driven by strong emotions, that are not rational, where they evaluate pros and cons of life critically.
You have to be careful not to discourage them from not opening up to you. Always avoid certain phrases such as “Your life is not that bad”, or “How could you think of hurting me like that?”. Never address a suicidal person as selfish that will only trigger them more and make them distant. If you have already said some of these things to someone in need, don’t just stop trying to help, go back to them and TRY AGAIN. Show them that you acknowledge the fact that you may not have responded correctly and express to them, that you want to be there to better understand why they feel the way they do. Sometimes all it takes is to be that one friend that makes them feel less helpless and alone. Instead of asking what’s wrong ask how can I help. Help keep them safe, connect, and then follow up. If you ever feel you hit a point where you can’t take it anymore with no one to turn to please don’t hesitate to call
The National Suicide Prevention Line 1 (800) 273-8255
They provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
“Not every single suicide can be prevented, but many are preventable.