Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US. In 2018, it was the tenth leading cause of death, with more than 48,000 people dying by suicide. It was also the second leading cause of death in people aged 10 to 34 and the fourth leading cause of death for people aged 35 to 54.
Better suicide awareness can lead to better prevention. It can give people the tools to help others, as well as to help themselves. Suicide awareness and prevention is partly about knowing the signs of when someone might be having suicidal thoughts and how to get help. However, it is also about encouraging people to seek and offer help before it reaches that point.
How Can You Help with Suicide Awareness and Prevention?
There are a few things that you can do if you suspect someone close to you may be struggling:
- Watch for signs of distress and unusual behavior
- Ask if they need to talk and if they are having suicidal thoughts
- Reassure them that suicidal thoughts can pass
- Encourage them to seek help from professionals, as well as speak to friends and family
You can also help to raise awareness and contribute to suicide prevention by getting involved with breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. Being open with friends and family about your mental health and encouraging them to do the same can help to change things. You can also get involved with an organization such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-8255.