According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state. In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.
A suicidal person may feel hopeless and trapped. It is important to look at stress through a developmental lens, because stressors are different in teens than in older adults. Teenagers often lack the ability to see that life can get better. Researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Relationship problems or loss, substance misuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to risk for suicide.
People often verbalize their thought of suicide. For example, they may say they have been thinking of dying or that they think they are better off dead. As a therapist, it has been my experience that suicidal people often minimize their importance to others. It is essential to listen and take talk about suicide seriously. Suicidal people may have changes in energy and mood and show signs of visible stress. They may also engage in destructive behaviors such as substance abuse and non-suicidal injuries like cutting themselves.
CDC data from 2006 to 2016 reported that roughly 218,000 Americans killed themselves using a firearm. If someone is suicidal and owns a firearm, it is essential to remove the weapon from their home. Guns and ammo should always be stored separately. Also, medication that could prove lethal should be removed from medicine cabinets, poisons should be removed from under the sink. Especially for young people, having a number on their phone to call in a time of crisis can be significant. There are also some apps that may prove helpful.
Get Professional Help
It is important to seek professional help to prevent suicide and help alleviate the life stressors that are contributing to the suicidal thoughts. If you know someone is suicidal, listen to them, keep them safe and connect them with the right help.
At Crossroads Counseling Center, our experienced therapists are trained to deal with these life-threatening situations. Our mission is to join with each person to create an emotionally secure environment through safe exploration to help our clients find inner peace. Suicide can be prevented.
CDC Violent deaths report 2015: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/index.html
Laurio, Allison. “Suicide Rates on the Rise.” Social Work Advocates Oct-Nov 2018.