September 8th through 14th marks National Suicide Prevention week, and to me personally this is a important week. Suicide has been a topic that has been very close to me, especially recently. I want to give you a few important things to remember, not just for this week but for the rest of your life.
Suicide Rates Are Still Rising
It is still statistically proven that the rate of suicide in the United States is still on the rise. In fact, the rate of suicide has been increasing over the past 20 years! In 2017, there was a 33% increase in suicide since 1999. Rates of suicide have tended to see a huge increase in adolescence and young adults, but there has also been a increased rate in suicide among young men. The rate of suicide in the United States has been at its highest since World War Two.
Understand the Signs of Someone who is Potentially Suicidal
Unfortunately, there are many signs that someone could be thinking about suicide. Many times, these signs are very subtle or even hidden. But with careful analysis, you can catch the signs early. Some signs include but are not limited to the following: Isolating themselves from others, huge mood swings, sleeping too much/little, being very agitated, talking about being a burden/feeling hopeless, and/or talking about wanting to die/finding ways to die.
Suicide Is NOT In Any Way Attention Seeking
I have heard this a lot from people, and I think it is very important to point out that people do not attempt and/or commit suicide just to "seek attention from others". It's important to know that most people who have done this have done it because they personally felt that it was the only way out. They may have tried to get help, or may have tried to let others know, but they just could not get anyone to listen. It's judgmental to say right off the bat that if someone tried to commit suicide or ended up doing so, that it was for attention. Seriously, that stigma needs to end now.
Constantly Check In On All Of Your Loved Ones
Please, take some time every day to pick up the phone and contact someone you love. It can be a family member, a friend, a classmate, co-worker, anyone. Just take a few moments to check on the people you care about most and see how they are doing. Ask them about their day, or how things have been going in life. If things aren't going so great, let them know that they can talk to you. You never know if someone needs an outlet to reach out to, or if maybe they just need someone to brighten their day. This may seem extreme, but one conversation could save a life.
Make Sure To Help Someone In Need, And Don't Be Afraid To Get Help Yourself
If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide, just know that there are answers. If its someone you know, make sure to be as supportive as you can, and give that person any sort of help or resources. Allow them to cry on your shoulder, and if they think they want help, recommend any sort of help to them (Counseling, a hotline number, etc.). Don't leave their side, and in the case of an emergency call the hotline number or even 911. If its you, just know that you are on this earth for a reason, even if it feels like your world is ending right now. It does sound super cliche, but there is another way out. Do not be afraid to reach out and get help by any means necessary. It seems scary to get help at first, but do try to get support by whoever is there for you.
Numbers for getting help:
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
TrevorLifeline, a LGBTQ suicide prevention counseling service: 1-866-488-7386
Or text HOME to 741741 to confidentially text a trained crisis counselor from Crisis Text Line
Also, if you want to donate, just go to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/donate/