Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Suicide was the third-leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults ages 15-24 in the U.S in 2020. It was also the second-leading cause of death for people ages 25-34. Deaths are increasing, especially in our youth (age 14 - 24). Each week in September, I will share resources and/or information about suicide prevention.
A question that I’ve been asked a lot is this: “What can I do to help prevent someone I know from taking their life?”
I will share my answer, but obviously I failed at this. Some people are determined and have decided to follow through, and it can’t be changed. But before it gets to that point, hopefully they will agree to trying to get better. I did these things with Keven, but they didn’t help.
If you notice any of the signs of depression in your friend, child, spouse, co-worker, etc., reach out and offer to help them through whatever is causing them to feel hopeless. Sometimes people feel so isolated and alone, like no one really cares, so knowing you’ve offered to be there can make a difference.
Talking, therapy, group therapy and medications may help. When you feel super low, the thought of finding a doctor or therapist can be overwhelming. Offer to do this for them.
If the person is living with you, make sure you don’t have an accessible gun in the house.
If someone threatens suicide, take it seriously! In most counties, there are teams in place that will come to your home and assess the person and take them in for a 72 hour hold if needed. (One warning on this one - they always bring a police officer with them. For that reason, I never had this done because Keven said “suicide by cop” was something he wouldn’t hesitate to do.)
There are no guarantees in preventing suicide. I feel like I did everything I could think of for years, and it still didn’t help my son.
Here are some resources specifically for college students. Next week I will talk about teens.
Emergency Hotlines and Chat Centers
National Mental Health Organizations and Institute
Volunteer Opportunities and Suicide Prevention Education
Resources for Students Who Have Lost Someone to Suicide