According to numerous sources, September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and September is Suicide Prevention Month. The most recently released online data indicates that approximately 100 individuals commit suicide every day.
While that number in itself may cause concern for some, experts also not that this is only the number of people who actually succeed at committing suicide. It is highly possible that a significant number of people attempt suicide and fail or at least consider suicide but do not act upon the thought.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks suicide as the 10th highest cause for death in the US. In comparison, it slots in higher than homicide (murder) which is listed as the 16th highest cause for death in the United States. These statistics are part of the reason why September was chosen as the time to discuss suicide, its cause and the related stigma.
Dr. Mark Pollack, who is the president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and Grainger professor as well as the chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, states:
“There’s a significant body of research that demonstrates that individuals suffering from anxiety disorders and depression face an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts. Effectively diagnosing and treating both anxiety disorders and depression, especially when they co-occur, are critical pathways to intervening and reducing suicide crises.”
The South Carolina chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention notes that people with mental illnesses or other mental health issues such as depression should not be stigmatized. Depression should not be thought of as a character flaw. It is a brain response.
In theory, any given person could become overwhelmed to the point where he or she is not able to cope. People should educate themselves on the warning signs of suicide.
Dr. Christine Moutier, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Chief Medical Officer, concluded: “Progress is being made in how Americans view mental health, and the important role it plays in our everyday lives. People see the connection between mental health and overall well-being, our ability to function at work and at home and how we view the world around us. I am encouraged by the survey findings — respondents want to help a loved one by connecting them to the right mental health treatment and support.”
September: Suicide Prevention Month