The CDC reports suicide was responsible for nearly 46,000 deaths in 2020, making it a critical public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States. Since 2008, September has been Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Awareness is the first step toward prevention, so this month and anytime is a good time to remember that everyone is struggling with something, and that mental health needs to be a priority in your life.
Suicide risk factors
Suicide rates differ among demographics for different reasons. According to the CDC, people who have experienced violence, bullying, child abuse, or sexual violence are at a higher risk of suicide. Healthcare workers are also at disproportionate risk of suicide, due to stress and dealing with difficult situations. But a having support system and easy access to health care can decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors in people of any demographic or profession.
1 in 5 adults in the U.S. will experience a mental illness in a year. Many people with mental illness struggle with suicidal thoughts, but there is no one factor that leads to suicide, nor is there a way to predict who will act on suicidal thoughts.
Now is not the time to shy away from conversations about mental health and wellbeing. These are difficult topics to approach with loved ones but having someone to relate to can change everything for someone who is struggling. Don’t feel like you have to have answers in order to ask someone about their mental state, because simply exhibiting some compassion can be the turning point for someone getting help. Break the stigma of approaching mental health issues because you could be saving lives.
Treating those at risk
Treatment for people at risk of suicide can include antidepressant medications or psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy to help with problem-solving and emotional regulation. The approach to treatment will be unique to the individual and their struggles.
If you are experiencing difficult thoughts call or text 988 to talk to someone now.
If you are a Medcor advocate, remember Medcor has mental health resources for you. Do not hesitate to use these resources if you are feeling overwhelmed. Book a one-on-one appointment with a Mental Health Advocate through the Wellbeing portal on Better.
Suicide Prevention | Homeland Security (dhs.gov)
Suicide Prevention | Suicide | CDC
Suicide Prevention for Healthcare Workers | Blogs | CDC