Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. Did you know that? Many times those who attempt suicide, along with their families and friends, are stigmatized and left to struggle with the feelings alone. When my dad died the whole town talked. Kids at school talked. And they made fun of me. It's not a good feeling. And I spent years trying to understand why my dad would rather kill himself than to live for me and my siblings. It wasn't until I was MUCH older that I began to realize he was sick. Sicker than what we knew. And had alcoholism.
While I was in nursing school we were taught to talk to someone whom we suspect are thinking about suicide. We are to ask them if they have a plan. Do you know how you are going to kill yourself? Do you know when you will kill yourself? Asking those important questions will not force someone to commit suicide. But it just might help you to prevent them from killing themselves. Do not ignore someone who tells you they are going to kill themselves.
We need to know the warning signs:
And we need to know the risk factors:
Also, while we are talking about suicide we need to incorporate into that talk the talk about gun violence. In this country 32,000 Americans die every year as a result of gun violence. Did you know that 2/3 of those deaths, almost 20,000 deaths, are the result of suicide? No, I didn't know that either. States which have mandated waiting periods to purchase guns have cut their suicide rates in half. Suicide is often impulsive.
"We know that suicide is often impulsive. According to a Harvard University School of Public Health study, 71 percent of suicide attempts happen within one hour of making the decision. And anecdotally, in interviews following unsuccessful suicide attempts, individuals almost always regret it. Over a decade ago there was a story in New Yorker about interviews with people who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived – every one of them realized it was a mistake before they hit the water. But with a gun, there is no second chance."*
All of us have the ability to educate others
on the prevention of suicide. This is the month to do it! Stand up and help make others aware. That is all I'm asking!!