Trigger Warning: Suicide
September 5th to September 11th is National Suicide Prevention Week, with September 10th being National Suicide Prevention Day. Please reach out to your friends and family members and make sure they are doing okay. When asking someone how they are, ask a second time if they say they are fine the first time. Asking twice often allows someone to describe how they are truly feeling, which can save a life. If you need help, please reach out. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255. Or, text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor. You are not alone, and you matter.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and it is one of the most preventable deaths. When someone knows the warning signs of suicide, and how to best support a person with suicidal thoughts, the risk of that person taking their own life decreases. Do not be afraid to directly ask someone if they are experiencing suicidal thoughts, as that can give them a safe space to discuss how they are feeling which can allow them to feel both supported and validated. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-34, the fourth leading cause of death among people ages 35-44 and the fifth leading cause of death among people aged 45-54. More than 47,500 people died as a result of suicide in 2019, which is equivalent to about one death every 11 minutes. You do not have to have any previous mental health issues to experience suicidal thoughts.
Jen Libby, Promly founder and CEO, and teen and young adult therapist, says that, “It is not uncommon for high school students in particular to experience suicidal thoughts given their specific brain make up and developmental stage in adolescence. Teen brains are literally programmed to process in black and white ways, often making it difficult to imagine in dark moments that life can change and ultimately get better. We know that high school kids are reporting thinking about suicide more often than in years past, so it is absolutely critical that we help and support each other in every way possible.”
Even when National Suicide Prevention Week is over, normalize conversations around mental health. Constantly check in with friends and family members, and let them know you are always there for them. Help those close to you if they need help, and always check in with yourself as well to see how you are feeling and whether you need help. Never be afraid to reach out for help; you do not have to struggle alone and there are people who care about you and want to help you. For more information, please check out the resources below. If you need immediate help, and you are on hold with a resources line, make sure you are NOT alone. Go find someone to be with right away while you wait.
Information from https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html
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With immense gratitude, the Promly Team.