With National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8th – 12th, 2014) underway, we are reminded how devastating it can be to lose a loved one to suicide. Despite it being 100% preventable, there are an estimated 40,000 Americans taking their lives each year, and an estimated 500,000 are treated in an ER for suicide attempts. With such a high number of the population engaging in suicide, the serious matter has stressed itself into a horrific public health crisis. National Suicide Prevention Week hopes to not only spread awareness about mental health issues, but also help prevent any further suicides from happening.
Suicide Prevention Week
This week marks Suicide Prevention Week, where we can help spread the message that there is hope and healing. The week introduces an extensive campaign that can include organizations reaching out to their communities and getting as many people together as possible to channel positive energy with affirmations, hopes, dreams, and triumphs over struggles. Just having a simple conversation with a parent, sibling, or neighbor about suicide, and thinking of ways you can reach out to someone who may be battling depression or another mental illness, can go along way in support of National Suicide Prevention Week.
Is Talking About Suicide Taboo?
It seems as though a majority of people will do just about anything to avoid conversations on the topic of death. Sometimes it’s because they just don’t know what is appropriate to say when someone has passed, they don’t want to upset another person, or they simply can’t talk about death. If avoidance is the natural reaction to the overall topic of death, just imagine how amplified the uncomfortable feeling is, in response to the topic of death by suicide. Some people tend to have a sense of fear as they cringe and don’t understand that others actually took their own life, so they choose not to talk about it, because it’s easier to avoid that growing, aching, distressful fear. Others may be angry that a loved one committed suicide, because they see it as a selfish act, and hold the incident in their mind as a deep resentment for the person. With this, they may choose to ignore the conversation of suicide altogether as well. These are just a couple examples of how people may choose to cope in unhealthy ways with the suicide of a loved one and ultimately ignore discussing suicide. But with these reactions and cutting off the ability to ever communicate about suicide, they aren’t being proactive about working toward a solution. However, it should be remembered unquestionably that death brings such an immense amount of intolerable pain that everyone requires healing at their own pace, and sorting through feelings does not have to be handled with a sense of urgency, but rather over time among the support of loved ones.
Whichever way you choose to spend National Suicide Prevention Week, try to be considerate of the feelings of others. Learn what the signs of suicide may look like, so that you can be aware of when to be concerned of another’s mental stability. If the person is particularly withdrawn, weak, tired, apathetic, or is drinking and/or using drugs heavily, you may want to approach them and ask them how they are doing. You may even find you have to talk with their family and friends. There are Suicide Prevention Hotlines to call. Never ignore signs. If someone talks about death frequently and tells you of thoughts or plans of killing themselves, you have to tell someone. It could save their life and that is the most important piece of information to remember. There are over 39,000 Americans that commit suicide each year and it does not have to be this way. Help decrease the number and increase inner peace.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Helpline today.
Want more information for National Suicide Prevention Week? Feel free to share this Suicide Statistics & Warning Signs Infographic with your friends and community.Tags: infographic, suicide, suicide prevention