Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
Suicide is a National Health Crisis
The statistics on suicide are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an average of 8 % of American teens will attempt suicide. That equates to about two students in the average English class at a public school will attempt suicide. This makes suicide the leading cause of death for kids aged 10-24. More teenagers die from suicide than from cancer, pneumonia, birth defects, AIDS, influence, and heart disease combined.
Individual Impact of Suicide
Although more females attempt suicide, 75% of people who die by suicide are male. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-54. Ten percent of young adults report regular thoughts of suicide. The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001. While only about half of individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90% experienced symptoms. This means that half of individuals that die by suicide are not seeking or receiving lifesaving interventions and treatment for their health condition, likely because there is still so much stigma surrounding depression, anxiety, and suicide. So often, individuals keep their emotional pain to themselves.
Family Impact of Suicide
Every year thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.
Seek Professional Guidance
Any talk of suicide is a serious matter and requires professional guidance by a trained therapist or psychiatrist. Schedule an appointment with me.
- Know the Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide
- Being Prepared for a Crisis
- Navigating a Mental Health Crisis
- Need more information, referrals or support? Contact the NAMI HelpLine.
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
1CDC. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). [Accessed 09/02/2020]. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html