Today is World Health Day and this year the World Health Organization (WHO) has dedicated today to suicide prevention. While suicide is on the decline for some of Europe, according to the WHO someone in the world dies of suicide every 40 seconds. Their goal with focusing on suicide prevention today is to try and attract attention of governments in order to reduce stigma and increase resource funding.
Suicide has become a global health crisis and the 10th leading cause of death in the US – a rate that has risen 30% since 1999. It is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 years olds.
Per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), for every adult (over the age of 18) that commits suicide, there are about 30 other adults who have made an attempt. This means we all know someone who has contemplated suicide, even if they have not shared those feelings.
Depression is lonely and painful and many people may slowly descend into their depression. Possible warning signs to look out for:
- No longer enjoying hobbies
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Out of character/inappropriate behavior at work like arguing with peers and supervisors, getting customer complaints, absenteeism
- Making mistakes they would not normally make
- Financial stress
- Odd/out of character social media posts
- Changes in sleep (increases or decreases)
- Changes in appetite (increases or decreases)
There are some challenges with suicide prevention. First, and probably most notably is the stigma that comes with mental health. It is difficult to admit that you do not have it all under control and the are in need of support and help. In my office, I regularly hear people tell me that their problems are not as bad as someone else's and there for they should not "need" help or support. The truth is that we all need help and support and measuring one person's suffering to another's is dangerous.
Making it further difficult to prevent, there is not a lot of great data on suicide and suicide attempts. There are a lot of people who do not seek medical attention after they harm themselves and/or when they do, they claim that it was an accident and the injury is not properly documented.
If you are someone you know....
Thoughts of suicide are common. Being sad sometimes is part of being a human. Needing support and help at different stages of life is healthy, normal and standard in order grow and make needed changes. If you feel like your safety or someone else's safety is in jeopardy call 911. If you feel as though there is a risk but you are sure that it is eminent call: 1-800- 273-TALK (8255).
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!